Gone to Maui

The last day of February and first of March found me and our friend Shannon in Kihei, Maui at our second annual whale watching trek.  We left Tree and Charlie behind to take care of the seals and off we went.  It was an incredible whale watch boating experience.  We, for some reason, haven’t had many whales around Kauai this year, in fact the whale count for February was quite low.  We aren’t sure why there are so few here, perhaps the warmer ocean, warmer Alaska or El Nino.  On Maui we took 3 trips in 3 days, the last and best left the dock at 6:30 AM.  We were aboard The Odyssey, a Pacific Whale Foundation boat, a large 65 ft power boat that holds about 150 people but that morning there were only 30 of us, we had the whole boat to run around and take pictures.

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This whale was right next to the boat.  The boats aren’t allowed to approach the whale within 100 yards, but this one approached the boat and the captain killed the engines.

DSCF0885This was a mom and calf, that is so special to see….and rarely does one get this close.

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And this was the same pair with their escort.  The escort whale is usually a male that hangs around protecting the mom and calf perhaps waiting for a chance with the female.  He is often a young male.DSCF0683 DSCF0696

We watch for the “blow” that is the exhalation when the whale surfaces and, as above, tail slaps, this one was early in the morning and the whale probably slapped at least 20 times.

We were so excited about the experience that we ending up eating only once a day, in the evening after sunset.  The rest of the time, we toured the island.  There was a large north swell that usually causes giant surfing waves.   The one called “Jaws” is on the way to Hana and we hiked 1.5 miles down to observe it, however, the waves were only about 20 feet so there were’t any surfers.  Only 20 feet!  Not challenging enough for the world class surfers.  We also checked for seals along the way and saw one of the 8 that live on the island, RQ21.  She is a 13 year old female that comes from Molokai.  We were struck by the lack of scars on her, as compared to the seals that we see regularly on Kauai.

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Since I was gone, Charlie had to work short-handed at the registration table at the EKK Hula event….I guess it was pretty hectic and he missed me. The mayor was there……he makes it to all the big events on the island…….and this EKK featured mainly local artists and the theme was hula.  The major is an imposing figure, note below in the aqua aloha shirt.IMG_0041

The weekend ended with the loss by West Kauai Seniors, and it wasn’t my score-keeping, they played the 2nd best team on Kauai.  I enjoy being part of the team, even though it’s just keeping score.  Luckily I have a mentor in this activity, Ruthie, one of the team members that was also on several top notch women’s teams in her youth, so I’m improving on that “score” weekly.  Ruthie doesn’t usually get into the games, so she helps me with the score keeping.

Our Sunday was spent, as usual, watching sunrise at the Grand Hyatt and then trimming  trees and shrubs in the yard. Even with the sparse rain this winter, our yard becomes a jungle as we watch.  We’re afraid that without biweekly trimming, it will soon obscure our house.

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