For five-time Antarctic veteran crewmember Simeon Houtman, the encounter was the most amazing experience in his life. "I've never seen whales so close to a Sea Shepherd vessel. It was unbelievable," he said.

Engineer Jason couldn't agree more, "One day when I'm on my deathbed and I'll make a top 10 of most wonderful things I've ever experienced, this is going to outrank everything."

After half an hour of enjoying the stunning beauty of the Antarctic wildlife, the Ady Gil continued their search for the Japanese whaling fleet.


whale and crew

Photos: Laurens de Groot / Sea Shepherd