Today in our search for charismatic megafauna—the largest animals on the planet—we first encountered a large school of long-beaked common dolphins. They surrounded our ship, National Geographic Venture, and playfully rode our bow. Not long after, we encountered a group of bottlenose dolphins, who also played with the wave produced by the bow, delighting our spirits, eyes, and camera lenses.

Suddenly in the distance, we saw a huge spout of water and an enormous fluke. With excellent navigation, our ship carefully approached what turned out to be a blue whale, the largest animal that has ever lived!

In the afternoon, black and white bodies and large dorsal fins called our attention and we witnessed the acrobatics, speed, and elegance of a pod of resident killer whales. They approached our vessel and provided a magnificent spectacle.