PHOTOS Giant Humpback Whale Surprises Submarine in Simon’s Town, South Africa

Photographs by Trace Photography ZA

The captain and crew of a submarine in Simon’s Town, South Africa, got a shock a few days ago as they left their naval base… when a giant humpback whale showed its interest by spectacularly breaching right in front of them! Trace Photography ZA captured these once-in-a-lifetime photos.

Humpback Whale gives a submarine a scare as it breaches right in front of it at SImon's Town
A fully grown Humpback Whale gives a submarine a scare as it breaches right in front of it at SImon’s Town where the South African Navy is based in False Bay. PHOTO: By Trace Photography ZA

The 30 ton fully grown 16m whale may have thought it was showing off to a much bigger “female” when it decided to launch itself in a leap for photographer Tracy-Lee Wise.

Tracy-Lee, 53, who spends most days on the beach snapping the mammals had lined up her lens for where she knew the whale was most likely to breach from the sea.

After a patient 15 minute wait, when the leviathan finally exploded from the deep, she clicked three times – only for an attack submarine to sail into shot and photobomb it!


Humpback Whale gives a submarine a scare as it breaches right in front of it at SImon's Town
A fully grown Humpback Whale gives a submarine a scare as it breaches right in front of it at SImon’s Town where the South African Navy is based in False Bay. PHOTO: By Trace Photography ZA
Humpback Whale gives a submarine a scare as it breaches right in front of it at SImon's Town
A fully grown Humpback Whale gives a submarine a scare as it splashed down afer a spectacular breach right in front of it at SImon’s Town where the South African Navy is based in False Bay. PHOTO: By Trace Photography ZA

The incredible shots with the 62m Heroine Class attack submarine SAS Manthatisi of the South African Navy in it has been sent to the crew by the wife of a submariner on board.

The sub was sailing out of South Africa’s naval base at Simon’s Town, near Cape Town, and had to navigate through a pod of the humpbacks when this one just leaped from the ocean.

The Simon's Town naval base in South Africa where Just Nuisance served in WWII.
The Simon’s Town naval base in South Africa where the submarine sailed from when a whale breached beside it just outside the harbour gates. PHOTO: Jamie Pyatt News Ltd

Snapper Tracy-Lee said: “It was a once in a lifetime pic – snapping a whale in mid-air as a submarine heads straight towards it – and I was delighted to have captured the image.

“I had been stalking the whales all day and was close to giving up… but suddenly it all came together beautifully and I was just very lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

“I had a very nice message on my Facebook from the wife of a crew member on the sub who had sent the photographs to her husband who showed the delighted captain.

“I am planning to send a copy to them when they return to base to frame and hang in the submarine!”

Three of the German-built submarines are based at Simon’s Town and the humpback whales are a regular sight off the base at this time of year – but rarely photographed together.

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