Whalewatching 2016: Part 6

22 Feb
Finishing a breach

Finishing a breach. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

19 January Cruise

The weather and the whales cooperated beautifully! There were so many surface-active pods and such a wide variety of behaviors being displayed that I ended up with more than 3,500 shots to sort through, about half of which were keepers! With so many good shots to choose from, I had a tough time limiting the pics for this blog post to a reasonable number. My apologies for including so many photos this time, but I think these are worth sharing.

A pair of whales perform perfectly synchronized flukes-up dives. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

An out-of-sync double flukes-up dive.

An out-of-sync double flukes-up dive. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

A participant in an energetic competition pod does an aggressive head lunge as it exhales at the surface.

A participant in an energetic competition pod does an aggressive head lunge as it exhales at the surface. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

A solitary resting at the surface ("logging") with the cinder cone of Pu'u Olai on the distant horizon.

A solitary whale resting at the surface (“logging”) with the cinder cone of Pu’u Olai on the distant horizon. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

A young adult whale performs a graceful flukes-up dive with Molokini Crater on the horizon.

A young adult whale performs a graceful flukes-up dive with Molokini Crater on the horizon. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

Passengers aboard the Ali'i Nui watch a solitary whale doing a flukes-up dive nearby.

Passengers aboard the Ali’i Nui watch a solitary whale doing a flukes-up dive nearby. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

Peduncle throw sequence

Sequence of shots of a whale performing a peduncle throw.

 

In pursuit: a male participant in a small competition pod struggles to keep up with the less-than-receptive object of his desire, a female Humpback out in front of the pod.

In pursuit: a male participant in a small competition pod struggles to keep up with the less-than-receptive object of his desire, a female Humpback out in front of the pod. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

Nice shot of the flukes of a Humpback whale as it slips beneath the surface. The scallop-shaped trailing edge of a whale's flukes are unique to each whale.

Nice shot of the flukes of a Humpback whale as it slips beneath the surface. The scallop-shaped trailing edge of a whale’s flukes are unique to each whale. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

A closeup shot of a peduncle throw. This noisy behavior is usually indicative of extreme aggression or irritation.

A closeup shot of a peduncle throw. This violent and very noisy behavior is usually indicative of extreme aggression or irritation. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

I just love the way the water streams off of a whale's flukes as it does a flukes-up dive!

I just love the way the water streams off of a whale’s flukes as it does a flukes-up dive! (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

It's always time for a breach

There’s always time for a breach, even in the midst of the serious business of a competition pod. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

fluke-slap

Nothing like a hearty fluke-slap to work off those feelings of anger and frustration! (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

A female Humpback rolled over onto her back waves both her 15-foot-long pectoral fins, signalling that she's in the mood for love.

A female Humpback rolled over onto her back waves both her 15-foot-long pectoral fins, probably signalling to nearby males that she’s “in the mood”. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

After signalling that she's "in the mood" by rolling over onto her back and waving her immense pectoral fins, an obliging male promptly makes the scene. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

After signalling that she’s “in the mood” by rolling over onto her back and waving her immense pectoral fins, an obliging male promptly makes the scene. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

Every whale's pectoral fins, just like their flukes, are unique...

Every whale’s pectoral fins, just like their flukes, are unique…

 

...and not all of them are slender and graceful, as this individual's fin shows there's been some hard usage. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

…and not all of them are slender and graceful, as this individual’s fin shows; the barnacles, scuff marks and notches indicate that it’s seen some hard usage. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

Was this an invitation for a little tummy-rub on the part of the female rolled onto her back?

Was this an invitation for a little tummy-rub on the part of the female rolled onto her back? (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

Invitation accepted! Note the second whale's head between the other's outstretched pectoral fins.

Invitation accepted! Note the second whale’s head between the other’s outstretched pectoral fins. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

One member of a competition pod that mobbed the boat exposes its well-scarred back as it glides by.

One member of a competition pod that mobbed the boat exposes its well-scarred back as it glides by. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

This whale demonstrates the wonderful flexibility of the Humpback whale's flukes; no surprise, given there's no bones in that part of its anatomy, just skin, muscle and blubber.

This whale demonstrates the wonderful flexibility of the Humpback whale’s flukes; no surprise, given there’s no bones in that part of its anatomy, just skin, muscle and blubber. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

Nice closeup of a whale's flukes as it prepares for a deep flukes-up dive.

Nice closeup of a whale’s flukes as it prepares for a deep flukes-up dive. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

And so it's time to wave "bye-bye" until the next cruise. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

And so it’s time to wave “bye-bye” until the next cruise. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

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One Response to “Whalewatching 2016: Part 6”

  1. Liz Croonquist 22 February 2016 at 9:10 AM #

    You’ve had an amazing whale-watching season! Thanks for sharing some remarkable shots of these beautiful creatures!

    Blessings! Liz

    On Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 3:40 AM, The Private Naturalist wrote:

    > Michael Thomas Garrison posted: ” 19 January Cruise The weather and the > whales cooperated beautifully! There were so many surface-active pods and > such a wide variety of behaviors being displayed that I ended up with more > than 3,500 shots to sort through, about half of which were keeper” >

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