Humpback whales have returned to Hawaiian waters. They spend the summers in Alaska and then come down here to have their calves and to breed. This year, the first whales were spotted early – at the end of October. I saw a couple in early November, but then nothing for a month.
This, of course, doesn’t mean they weren’t around, just that I didn’t see any. But in the second half of December I started seeing more of them and more activity, and now I see one or two most days.
On this day, I saw five whales. Three were just blowing, but two cruised along the coast, in the same direction I was walking, and were quite active. In the photo above, one of the whales rises out of the water – not a full breach, but what might be called a head slap as it bangs back down. At left, the whale dives. When an adult whale dives it can stay underwater for 20 minutes or more.