Dominique Richardson

A Rough Weather Encounter

 

Ma’alaea is known as one of the windiest boat harbors in the world and the past few days it’s been living up to its reputation. We’ve had winds of about 30 knots with gusts at higher speeds. But despite the weather, the whale watch trips have been very exciting (and I don’t just mean like riding a roller coaster). We’ve had breaching and pec-slapping and tail extensions and yesterday we even had one of the best whale watches of the season.

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Anonymous (visitor) says:

WOW ..... Anyone who has been lucky enough to see this kind of a show..I have..should go home shouting to protect these and all our ocean treasures Coming back this fall once is never enough even for a TEXAN!!!!!!

The Gray Humpback Whale

 

Over the past week or so, we’ve been spotting a very unusual whale that the research department is affectionately calling “ ‘Ahinahina.” ‘Ahinahina means gray or silver (and is also the name of Hawaiian Silversword) and this whale definitely lives up to its name. ‘Ahinahina the whale is a very pale gray color instead of the dark gray to black of most humpback whales and looks particularly light when next to a whale with normal coloration.

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Tail Slapping

 

The trade winds have been picking up and even though it’s windy, the sky is beautiful and clear.  In the past few days we’ve been seeing quite a bit of surface activity while out on the boats, particularly a lot of tail slapping. Cows and calves, single adults, adults in competition pods. It seems like everyone is doing it!

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Comments

Thanks for sharing the videos! Can't wait to see the whales again for myself... My husband and I are looking forward to bringing our 2 boys along too... they'll love it! :)

Sandy M. Prout (visitor) says:

Looks like a young child having a temper tantrum!

Breaching Bonanza!

 

The ultimate whale behavior that everyone wants to see on a whale watching trip is the breach, where a whale throws two-thirds to its entire body out of the water, landing with a massive splash. It’s very common for us to see these huge splashes out in the distance during our whale watches, but only the very lucky get to see it right next to the boat. Today we were very lucky.

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Comments

Anonymous (visitor) says:

amazing!! I'm so jealous that I wasn't there too

Anonymous (visitor) says:

Your pictures are breathtaking! Wish I could have been there.

Another Fierce Competition

 

This week we saw the most violent competition pod yet this season. There were only 6 humpbacks, but the action was intense. The males were swimming incredibly fast, at speeds of up to 8 knots, zig-zagging around and changing direction without warning. The captain was having quite a time trying to keep up with them. It got the point where we just idled as the whales continued moving closer, then farther away and then closer again while they battled.  They even left a massive make in the water, hundreds of feet across, as they battled and raced.

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Comments

Anonymous (visitor) says:

I believ this is the trip my husband and I were on. It was amazing. The males were relentless. Fantastic show! We also got some great photos. Have not had a chance to view the cd from you. Can't wait to see it...thanks for a great time. Eileen & Tom

Bj (visitor) says:

Witnessed this is 2007. So excited to be coming to see it again in a week! Left such a lasting memory, unbelievable experience to see!

False Killer Whales

 

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Competition is heating up!

 

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Interspecies Interactions

 

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Old boat strike scars

 

While out on the water a few days ago we spotted a very active mother and calf off in the distance. The mother breached and soon after the calf copied its mother, repeatedly. As we got closer to all the commotion, we noticed something interesting about the mother. She had a series of long, thin, parallel scars running down a large portion of her back. As the calf tired out, it rested on its mother rostrum, giving us the chance to get some good photos of the scaring on the mother humpback’s back. Check out the pictures.

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Our first full week!

 

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