Sunday, August 03, 2008

Curiosity killed the cat!

January, 2008
Well it may have killed the cat, but curiosity in the form of a humpback whale can be one of the most exciting moments of your lifetime! Here in the AuAu Channel between Maui and Lanai a curious humpback lifts its head and eye out of the sea to get a better look at all the commotion on board this commercial whale watching boat!

I have always wondered what these whales think of us when they spend hours and hours inspecting us. This whale went from boat to boat to boat for almost four hours, never seeming to lose interest in all the different forms and shapes we must represent to them.

With a final fluke-up dive the show came to an abrupt halt and this whale went back to a "normal" humpback routine.

If you are patient and willing to put in the time, mother humpback whales will often bring their calves right to a drifting boat for a closer inspection. Here I am in a 17' inflatable boat just drifting with the motor off and the camera in its housing held over the side of the boat, no threat whatsoever to this cow/calf pair.

Another mother with her newborn baby on slow approach to inspect the boat.

A lone male makes a pass after completing his singing routine.

This humpback almost seems drawn to the camera, curious about the reflected light perhaps?

After studying the camera intently for a few moments he lets out a bubble blast from his blow holes, aimed no doubt at the odd creature with the big eyes in front of him. Just who is watching whom here? It is encounters just like this one that keep me coming back year after year to watch and film humpback whales. You could say that my curiosity gets the best of me!
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