Whalewatching 2016: Part 9

19 Mar
flukes-up closeup

Nice closeup shot of a flukes-up dive. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

26 January Cruise

The perfectly calm seas inside and outside Ma’alaea Bay, and the glass-smooth surface are definitely NOT typical of January’s weather conditions!

The distinctive recurved or “hooked” dorsal fin of his female (its calf was nearby but outside the frame of this shot) stands out in this high-contrast shot.

The distinctive recurved or “hooked” dorsal fin of his female (its calf was nearby but outside the frame of this shot) stands out in this high-contrast shot. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

During this cruise I saw more mother-and-calf pairs in the short two hours than in all of the cruises of the past six weeks. There’s been a lot of talk in the local whale-watching community that the strong El Niño conditions prevailing in the ocean surrounding the Islands has delayed the migration of pregnant females to Hawaii by about a month. This may account for the sudden appearance of so many newborns so late in the migratory season.

A mother and calf pair swim away from my boat after passing by at close range.

A mother and calf pair swim away from my boat after passing by at close range. (Click on the image to see a larger view.)

 

This curious Humpback calf came in very close to the Ocean Voyager, so I was able to get this shot showing the entire length of its body, its flukes and pectoral fins clearly visible just below the glass-smooth surface.

This curious Humpback calf came in very close to the Ocean Voyager, so I was able to get this shot showing the entire length of its body, its flukes and pectoral fins clearly visible just below the glass-smooth surface. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

Following its mother (just out of the frame), the Humpback calf passes close to starboard of the Ocean Voyager, creating small ripples in the glass-smooth surface. Its left pectoral fin is visible just below the surface.

Following its mother (just out of the frame), the Humpback calf passes close to starboard of the Ocean Voyager, creating small ripples in the glass-smooth surface. Its left pectoral fin is visible just below the surface. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

The female with the hooked dorsal fin quietly logs at the surface as Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Intrigue slowly moves into position to view her and her newborn calf (behind her and to her right).

The female with the hooked dorsal fin quietly logs at the surface as Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Intrigue slowly moves into position to view her and her newborn calf (behind her and to her right). (Click on the image to view a larger version.)

 

The “hooked-dorsal” female Humpback exhales gently as her calf begins a shallow flukes-up dive.

The “hooked-dorsal” female Humpback exhales gently as her calf begins a shallow flukes-up dive. (Click on the image to view a larger version.)

 

This last photo has an interesting/funny story. The Ocean Voyager’s captain was obliged to put the engines in neutral as the hooked-dorsal female and her calf swam completely around the boat, while the passengers on the lower deck excitedly followed them, rushing from port to starboard side, madly trying to get a good shot of the pair. I wasn’t so anxious to get the shot, but I DID snap this one with the woman holding up her tablet computer, because it’s so much fun seeing what tourists bring on board to take whale photos. It got even more hilarious when Tablet Lady attempted a “panning shot” of the pair and smacked into the guy in the baseball cap on her right, ruining both their shots.

Mother, calf and humans.

Tablet Lady to the whales: “Hey, look over here and smile!” (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

 

Now I know why they call them “Cattle Boats”.

Advertisements

Leave a comment about this blog post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: