Saturday, January 19, 2008

Spouting Off

Humpback whales migrate to Hawaii from Alaska from January to of the reasons we chose why to take our trip now. Females are nursing their calves here, while this is also their mating season. What excitement we had on our whale-watching cruise day!
Though we saw whale spoutings from the shoreline, my big dream was going out on the ocean in a boat to get as close to the whales as possible. We chose the non-profit organization, Pacific Whale Foundation to take us on our two hour whale-watching tour. This group is known for its preservation of the whales as well as educating people about whale conservation and behaviors.
After watching a lot of round out/peduncle arch and fluke up/fluke down dives, we somehow found ourselves in the midst of a whole lot of real action:
To be in the boat between two different whale pods was one of the most incredible experiences ever. To our right, whales were breaching meaning that two thirds of their bodies pushed upwards from the ocean depths and jumped out visibly from the surface of the ocean. We could even see their belly barnacles! To our right, whales were responding to this breaching by doing
pec slaps where they rolled sideways at the surface slapping their pectoral fins against the water. Admittedly, I was disappointed that our camera missed most of the actions: we ended up with a lot of water splashes. But, forever in my mind will be the witnessing of creatures as big as school busses communicating with each other and how we relate because of being social creatures in the same amazing universe.

1 comment:

Jed and Anne said...

It seems like you had yourself a 'whale' of a good time! How fun!