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Berthold Hinrichs

Berthold Hinrichs was paddling near Senja island in northern Norway this January when humpback whales began surfacing right beside his kayak. “That day there were about 30 humpbacks and 50 orcas in the bay,” says Hinrichs, who had his camera recording when a humpback surfaced at his side. “It did not capsize me, but [splashed] my camera and me,” he says. Hinrichs was busy drying his camera when “it happend again and then I was on the back of the humpback. I got a lot of water in my kayak, which froze to ice so I had to return to the harbour Hamn i Senja.”

Hinrich’s short film of the close encounter has been viewed worldwide, demonstrating our endless fascination for these friendly creatures of the deep. You can also view a magical 19-minute video from his trip paddling with whales at

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