Maui 2015: Day 25
Just had to get in one more whale watch before we leave, and today was a perfect day to do just that. So we hopped on the Pacific Whale Foundation boat to watch the North Pacific Humpback Whale do their thing(s). Now it needs to be said that Karen has honed to perfection the skill of “hopping,” i.e., getting us the best possible viewing position. This woman, who is usually kind and oh-you-go-ahead-of-me, becomes, well, focused when it comes to lining up for whales watches. And today she hit the jackpot: she was the first person on the boat! As you can see in the picture of her boarding, the captain was a little surprised to see her; I don’t think all the crew were on yet.
Before we even left the harbor a whale started doing pec slaps, taking its pectoral fin and slapping it hard against the water (once they start doing this they usually do it over and over again). Then we had barely cleared the buoys when we saw a young calf slapping its tail, again, many times.
As we were cruising over to Lanai the naturalist pointed out a Brown Booby, flying overhead and asked: Do you know how to catch one? (See answer at end.)
Behavior we can’t usually see from shore is a competitive pod of males, pushing and shoving for “rights” to a female. Towards the end of the cruise we came across a pod of six or seven of these males, moving very fast, banging away at each other—very dramatic.
In the pictures you will see a small boat with a yellow flag and an object hung over the bow. The marine naturalist on board explained this was a Natural Geographic boat and they were filming the humpbacks for a special show. She said the yellow flag indicates they have a special permit allowing them to get closer to the whales than the normal100 yards. She said the object hung over the bow was their camera. It will be fun to watch when this is aired.
Karen and I were commenting what a great trip this had been as the captain started to return to the harbor. Suddenly one of the naturalists became alarmed and the captain immediately slowed the boat. We had a large tiger shark off the stern! Ahh … just a day in Hawaii.
(Answer: with a booby trap!)