Today Walter and I joined about 50 other whale watchers on a Pacific Whale Foundation two-hour tour in the waters between west Maui and the island of Lana’i. This time of year there are probably around 1000 whales in the waters of the Hawaiian islands. It’s like a big orgy of conception and birth in these waters. Talk about potent energy!
Wouldn’t you want to give birth and/or mate in these warm, 76-degree waters, as opposed to the cold waters of Alaska? Apparently these humpback whales choose the Hawaiian islands for their mating and birthing process during these January – March months because of the warm water temperature, but also because the waters here aren’t as deep as other places and new baby humpbacks are learning to hold their breath underwater and these shallow waters are great environments for practice.
Here are the best photographs I took from our tour. I am delighted that we not only saw mommas and babies (including a mother whale nursing!), but one big whale surfaced right next to the boat.
These koholas (whales in Hawaiian) are curious, friendly, and so expressive!
What a powerful, sacred experience to be so close to these amazing, intelligent creatures who are part of the Cetacean Nation of the Hawaiian Islands.