In this composite photo, a humpback whale surges from the water off the North Kohala coast. It’s been an odd season so far. The first whales were spotted off the island back in early October, provoking thoughts of a bumper season. Since then, activity has been spotty with little apparent buildup of numbers. This month, there were more whales to be seen, but still not as many as expected. Yesterday was the first day when the numbers and activity seemed similar to previous years. On a walk along the coast, I followed two pairs who were leaping from the water with great enthusiasm. It’s always a thrill to see these huge animals slowly rise from the water, hang for a moment, and then crash back.