Nan Houser is a 63-year-old biologist who has been studying whales in their natural habitat for three decades. She is the head of the Center for Cetacean Research and Conservation based in New Zealand. At the same time, the main objects of her research are humpback whales.
And then one day, together with colleagues, the woman plunged deep into the waters off the Cook Archipelago. At that time, biologists were studying the migration of whales on the Pacific coast. Nan was already submerged in the water, and on the shore she was watched by colleagues from the Center with the help of drones.
In many years of diving, the woman had never found herself in a life-threatening situation. She has a lot of experience and knows very well that the main rule of communication with whales is to never touch them and try to behave as calmly as possible.
And for the first time she felt acute panic when a huge whale swam up from the water column, which was heading towards her at a rapid pace. It was a male humpback whale, in the attack of which a woman would not have had any chances. And it was naive to hope for the help of colleagues, they would not have arrived in time.
The only way out was to calm down and wait, as most often the whales do not harm the divers and swim by. However, the whale, without slowing down, swam up to her and was very close. He wanted to crush her with his fin, and then he began to push with his nose and dive under her. Nan’s oxygen reserves were already running out, and after a second the whale approached, began to swing its huge tail in the water, and if she had been hit, the woman would end up having fractured.
10 minutes ended very suddenly – the whale pushed her ashore with a strong blow. Colleagues were shocked. They quickly picked up the woman and they experienced tenderness mixed with a sense of relief.
And later it turned out that the people on the shore were not scared by the actions of two humpback whales, but by the fact that Nan did not see how a group of extremely dangerous tiger sharks swam up to her and the scientists even turned off the cameras so that the terrible scene would not be filmed, since they simply would not have time to help her. But the whales turned out to be there for her.