Research biologist John Calambokidis knows whales. He's studied them for more than 30 years, and is a co-founder of the Cascadia Research Collective, a non-profit foundation in Olympia, Washington.
An integral part of his long-term research on blue, humpback and gray whales involves placing tags on them to record valuable information about their lives in the deep.
Watch the video above to see what it's like to get next to a 90-foot giant in a tiny boat.
One interesting note about blue whales — Calambokidis says they smell like rotting krill. When you notice that smell in open water, you slow down, turn around and start looking.