to meet the whale watching boat for a 6:30am sunrise tour launch. The whale off in the distance waves a fin “hi” to all below. I enlarged it so you can see.
In the gallery below, we motored our way out to meet a raft owned by Pacific Whale Foundation already entertaining the whales. We turned to look back at a colorful rainbow in the direction in which we came. The whales just loved this small boat and the passengers likely took a shower from the whale spray.
Our boat was very far from all the activity by the raft, but pushed forward. The whales were very interested in the small yellow raft, but when we got there, the whales decided to leave. We turned around to where the whale pod headed. For a bit, it looked like whales were avoiding our loud motor, preferring the quiet raft.
Many whales were spouting when we finally turned off the engine and floated.
Whales were breaching further out near other whale boats. The three images of the breaching whales in the post were taken with my P510 last year in Maui. This year, they were too far away to photograph. In the gallery below, you can see how far by the giant splash of one, and that was taken with the D750 and a 300mm lens. I found the 28-300mm lens could not get the full image when prostrate swimming whales were too close to our boat. I have a few images with a half a whale.
We got lucky and the whales were interested in our boat. They swam under the boat repeatedly. Our boat was to be one hundred yards away from the whales, but if they swam to us, that was allowed. Maui has 75 percent of the whales that come to the Hawaiian Islands for winter. The captain has to shut down the engines and cannot leave until the whales move on from our boat.
It is surmised the whales come to the tropics to protect the newborn calves from the Orcas and sharks that would eat the youngsters. The whales return to their feeding grounds in the coastal waters of Alaska, mothers with newborn calves last to leave in May. We were visiting at peak time for seeing whales.
Like last year when I took a whale watch tour, we were told that the whales are not feeding while in Hawaii and living off fat reserves. A trip on Pacific Whale Foundation’s boats are both educational and fun.
Back to the dock.