Analia Giorgetti was rowing her board in southern Argentina when she was registered in an encounter she describes as “a magical moment”.
Every year, groups of southern right whales visit the Valdés peninsula to mate. On one of these visits, Giorgetti was touched by them in the middle of the sea.
They were submerged, they started to approach, curious”.
“And one of them touched me. I told my friend, ‘The whale touched me.’ Then we saw that a drone had filmed everything.” The device belonged to Maximiliano Jonas, a 43-year-old photographer who lives in the city of Puerto Madryn, also in the south of the country.
“On that day the sea looked like a mirror, the tide was high and there were many whales close to shore, around 50,” he tells BBC Mundo. So he took his drone and went to film the whales from above.
“I know whales are friendly, but I’ve never seen an interaction like this before,” says the photographer. His images went viral on social media.
The swimmer says that the whale began to approach and with one of its fins gently tapped the board. “When she approached, I placed the paddle on top of my board and stood still, waiting to see how close she would get,” explains Giorgetti.
“She looked like a dog looking for someone to play with. But in this case, it’s a much bigger animal,” Jonas wrote his hammocks. “I saw the gesture, saw it in slow motion. I couldn’t believe it.”
“When the whale touches it, it turns around and looks at the reaction of the person it touched,” he describes.
“I was watching and I said: it’s communication. My eyes filled with tears. I kept looking and thinking about the person down there. In the experience of this person, how envious,” he says.
“I put images of that moment on my social networks and (Giorgetti’s) daughter wrote me on Instagram and said: ‘This is my mother. She’s celebrating her birthday,'” says the photographer.
It was an amazing birthday present.”