You spend thousands of pounds to get there, you wait hours to get a sighting, and then this happens.
A boat load of tourists went whale watching off the coast of Sydney during the animals’ annual winter migration from the south to the north.
But they were all looking starboard when one of them jumped out of the water just yards away.
John Goodridge did manage to picture the scene. He said: ‘They were all looking the wrong way because about eight minutes before the whale had breached on the other side of the boat and they were waiting for it to come up again.
‘I have been photographing whales more seriously now for about a year and you get used to the way they move and where they will come up again. It might have breached one place eight minutes ago but in that time underwater it could have swum anyway.
‘I suppose they were lucky in a way, I’ve never seen a whale breach that close to a boat before and the thing was bobbing like a cork when it landed in the water, it was certainly longer and heavier than the boat.’
He added: ‘Some people have asked me if there’s a trick of perspective with the image, but no, the whale was right next to the boat. I didn’t get the splash sadly because I turned to shoot another whale, but I definitely saw a splash.’
Every year thousands of humpbacks – some as big as 50 tonnes and 52-feet long – migrate along the Eastern Australian coastline from the cold waters of Antarctica to the tropics. Between June and August pregnant females are often heading north to give birth to protect their calves from the colder southern temperatures.