Another humpback whale breach

This is a follow up to yesterday’s post. These were taken just a few minutes after yesterday’s photos. It might well be the same whale, but here, it had moved along far enough that I was no longer shooting straight into the sun. The blue of the ocean comes out and my eyes also had a chance to recover!

Last weekend was the third and final of this year’s Sanctuary Ocean Count of humpback whales. Each year, counts are conducted between 8 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. on the final Saturday of January, February, and March. These months are the height of whale season in Hawaii, though whales can be seen here from November through April. The counts happen on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi and Kauaʻi and are coordinated with similar events on Maui. Volunteers gather at sites around the islands to watch for whales and count their numbers and activities. This information is used to help researchers track how many whales come to Hawaii to calve and mate. Over the last few years, numbers have been in decline, but it’s not clear whether that’s due to drop in the whale population or a change in their migration patterns.

Volunteers for the counts are mostly local people, but more visitors are taking the opportunity to get involved while they’re here. This year, because of Covid restrictions, only site leaders took part in the count, but that will hopefully not be the case next year. I’ve done several of these counts and it’s fun to set aside the time to sit and watch the humpbacks. Sometimes they just cruise by, but often they splash and leap out of the water, putting on a show that’s wonderful to watch.

For more information about NOAA’s Sanctuary Ocean Count, go to https://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/involved/ocean-count.html.

Posted in response to Becky’s April Squares challenge theme of ‘Bright.’ See more responses here. Also posted in response to this week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme of ‘Volunteering.’ See more responses here.

20 thoughts on “Another humpback whale breach

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    1. Graham Post author

      That’s good to hear. I think the numbers issue here has more to do with what’s happening at the whales’ feeding grounds in Alaska, but it seems no one is sure exactly what’s going on. I suspect answers will be forthcoming over the next year or so.

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    1. Graham Post author

      It’s a great project. People love to see whales when they’re here, and this is an opportunity for them to get involved and learn a bit more about their lives and situation.

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        1. Graham Post author

          Boat tours are so hit and miss. I’m tempted to go on one just because, if you get lucky, you can get great photos. I’ve had some fabulous whale sightings from shore, but capturing them on camera has been elusive. I shall keep trying however, because you never know!

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            1. Graham Post author

              Jan., Feb, and Mar. are the height of the season, though March is slower these days. That said, these photos were taken in early March so you never know. These things are always a bit of a hit and miss proposition. I had a friend who came here for 2 weeks to get some sunshine during the winter and, except for one day, the skies were gray!

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