I love this photo! It was taken off the coast of Alaska by Michael Daniel Ho, who graciously allowed me to share it here.
When I first saw this photo on Facebook, it just grabbed me. This whole story popped into my head about how this humpback whale was late to a meeting and was flying out of the water in his rush to get there. To me, he looks purposeful, as if this whale is on an ocean mission. He is going somewhere and nothing is going to get in his way.
It turns out that my wild imagination was just that; I had the whole scenario completely wrong. Michael later explained that he captured this shot as the humpback whale was landing on the ocean’s surface during a breach. Instead of the typical breach where humpbacks leap out the water, twist and land on their backs; the humpback whale leapt straight out of the water and then landed on his front, more in the style of a belly flop.
This humpback whale was on a mission to have fun! Many thanks to Michael Daniel Ho for sharing such an amazing photo.