Friday, March 22, 2013

I Saw Whales!

One of the coolest things I've ever done happened last Sunday, when my cool little brother and I went whale watching. I didn't want my view of these massive mammals to be on a camera screen, so I just held it and pointed where I thought I was looking.

Sometimes it worked. Sometimes I got pictures of the sky or I lopped off half the whale. BUT, we saw soooo many that I still managed to get a good collection, which I'm proud to present to you now. These are humpback whales. We also saw false killer whales, which are like Shamu only all black, and although they didn't do anything very exciting, they are very rare and so this was apparently a big deal. I don't have any photos of those, just picture a black triangle protruding from the water and moving kind of fast.

On the left you see a whale head poking up. I am told this is very aggressive man-whale behavior. The equivalent of getting up in someone's grill, usually over a lady-whale.

This is the lady-whale that started it all and her baby. She is on the left. Her baby was a boy (the guides told us, I couldn't tell.)

This is her baby. While mama and the two man-whales who were fighting for her affection are roughly the size of a school bus, baby here is only the size of, oh a suburban, if it were skinnier and had fins.

This is the baby again, he was showing off.

This would be an aggressive male. They got SO close!

This is mama and baby together. Mothers with young whale-kids aren't usually in the mood, but she must have been one fine piece of tail, because the two dudes fought for a long time.

This is half of a tail going underwater. I didn't snap in time to get the whole thing.

When a lady-whale is feeling frisky, she will wave one side-fin above water. I don't know why this is sexy to whales. But then, I also don't know what it looks like from under water. 

Okay, I don't know if you can see the shadow, but one of the man-whales swam right next to our boat, and then dove straight down, which is apparently uncommon. His tale was enormous.

This is another shot of a man-whale. See how close they came?

And this is even closer!  Blammo! This man-whale might have bumped our boat. He came up right under the bow. All the scratches on his back are from the fierce underwater battle for the fair maiden. They will head-butt each other, and sometimes one will lay on the other to try and keep them from coming up for air. But, these fights aren't usually to the death. 

Again, I don't know if you can see it, but that white spot toward the bottom is a marking on a man-whale's tail.

Both man-whales came up for air at the same time. That fuzzy spot in the foreground is the remnants of his spray...spout?...well, the water that shoots up when they exhale.

This is not a shark, it's half a tail. Again, I wasn't quick enough to get the whole thing. But it was big.

I had prayed to see at least one whale breach, and instead saw baby breach like five times and a mama-whale in the distance breach twice. I was so psyched and told God so. I just love his creation!  And then two days later while on a ferry, four grown up, school-bus sized whales breached in a row. It was like the marine version of the Rockettes. Sadly I didn't get a picture, but I was reminded how lavish God is.  

Thank you for the tropics, for Maui, for a great vacation, for blue whales, and for so many stellar experiences with them. All my love!