Interview with Scott Portelli Swimming with Gentle Giants Episode 12 Season 1 Salty Journals Podcast

Interview with Scott Portelli on humpbacks, photography and life on the ocean.

For most people spending time in Tonga swimming alongside a sixteen metre long, forty ton whales is a dream come true. For some it is a nightmare! For Scott Portelli that is another day in the office.

Take time with us to learn about Scott on this episode of the podcast. Scott is a world renowned wildlife photographer with multiple awards and accolades. But he doesnt stop there!

It has taken Scott the better part of his career to understand how to read Whale behaviour and learn how to best interact with the whales with the aim to create organic interactions and build familiarity.

In this episode we discuss the dangers of interacting with humpbacks in light of the recent injuries sustained by tourists swimming with whales in Ningaloo.

“A lot of the time, they don’t even register our presence when we’re in the water with them, but what’s interesting is that they’re conscious and aware of their space; there is never any chance of getting hit by a whale. The adults can come very close without ever touching you, purposefully moving a fin over or under you just so they don’t hit you. The babies are clumsy, rolling around and wanting to play. The key is to keep a good distance and know how to operate safely and recognise behaviour cues.”

“when you’re in the water, you feel like everything is going really fast, the whales glide and pirouette, but when I look back at the footage, I always feel like I’m looking back at a very slow ballet. They’re incredibly intelligent, non-violent and self-aware creatures.”

Scott Portelli Episode 12 Salty Journals Podcast

Join us on this episode as we cover:

  • Scott’s early career and interests
  • Interacting with Whales and the dangers of being around such large megafauna
  • How other photographers can get started with underwater photography

Connect with Scott here:

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