I couldn’t have scripted this whale watch to happen any better than it did. PERFECTION.
Sunday night, Uncle Mike Spalding posted on FB an invitation for anyone that wanted to join him on a whale watching adventure. We had just flown back from the Big Island and since I love to rest (yeah right) I immediately jumped up to ask my hubby if he was okay with Jackson and I taking part in this adventure the next day. He had a couple of concerns but I assured him that there were no “Small Craft Advisories” posted and that I would of course assess conditions once I arrived at the boat ramp.
I woke up to a Small Craft Advisory posted for all Maui County waters… hmmmm… shhh, don’t say anything to the hubby. lol We did a Costco run and headed out to Lahaina to meet up with Uncle Mike and his FB friends. Jackson fell asleep about 15 minutes before we reached Mala Boat Ramp. Perfect. It was a gorgeous day and the water was actually very calm. I put Jackson in my Ergo, grabbed our bag and headed to the dock. Mark, a Fijian friend of Mike’s, was waiting for us. Another friend, Gray, was also there. We chatted for a minute before a Flood Advisory popped up. Fortunately, it was for the Big Island! I took care of posting the information about that and we headed out to the boat.
We were still waiting for two ladies to arrive so everyone just kind of got situated on the boat and said their hellos. I met Mike’s cycling friends – a French couple – and Mark’s dad (also from Fiji). It was a great group! Of course, Jackson woke up after only a 30 minute nap… yikes, this will be interesting. As I put his swimming gear on and life vest, I noticed what looked like a log just a few hundred yards out. I kept looking up at it and all of a sudden she blew! It was a mommy whale and her calf. New born? Possibly. They were floating very near to the boat (which was still moored) for a good 45 minutes. At one point they started to slowly swim in the direction of Front Street and one of the whales snagged a buoy! It was traveling with the whale and then all of a sudden (thankfully!) snapped back into place.
By this time, the two ladies Cindy and Judy arrived at the boat and we started up the motors to motor out of the harbor. We didn’t go far – maybe a few hundred feet – when both mommy and baby started to breach! It was INCREDIBLE!!! Mom would breach, then baby would follow, mom would breach, then baby would follow, mom would flap her tail, baby would flap his tail, mom would flap her flippers, baby would follow – it was spectacular. Just stunning. I wish my own “baby” was more intrigued. All he could think about was swimming! Jackson was flailing and trying to get away from me… LOL He did appreciate a couple of the jumps and sat still for maybe 5 minutes. Those 5 minutes were a real precious moment for me… watching a mommy teach a baby how to breach with my own little guy wrapped in my arms It was divine.
We took several swim breaks – mostly a function of Jackson wanting to get in the water. One of the coolest things about whales is hearing them sing. I’ve heard it on a machine before while on a boat in Alaska but hearing it from within the ocean is a breathtaking experience. You only have to go down a few feet. I dove down and could hear what I thought sounded like a baby whale (higher pitch) and a mommy whale (lower pitch) singing and talking to one another. So INCREDIBLE!!
Jackson started to get cranky but a few crackers helped that situation. Everyone on the boat was so sweet with him. It was great chatting (when I wasn’t chasing Jackson) and swimming. A HUGE mahalo to Mike for having us on his boat yesterday! What an INCREDIBLE experience. Once in a lifetime. I’ll never forget it.
Thank you to Cindy and Judy for being late! ha ha! Because of that, we had perfect timing for when the mom and baby breached! Oh! And to top it all off… Cindy and I were just talking about how our respective family members were a little wary of us going on an “adventure” with Mike… when all of a sudden, the boat stops. The fuel line broke on the zodiac as we motored back to shore! LOL Anyone that knows Mike, knows he is one to have some pretty amazing, incredible and sometimes crazy adventures. It was awesome that our “craziness” was so apropos, timely… and harmless. Poor Mark paddled us back to the boat, fixed the fuel line and successfully motored us to shore. You’re a trooper!
All in all, a FANTASTIC day. (I thought I’d give the word “incredible” a break) … Life’s Swell!