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Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Whale of a good time

Day two in paradise, and it found us up and moving before sunrise.  This isn't such a problem for Mark and myself, as we're early risers, but for our roomies, it's a little rough.
I keep reminding them, that it's two hours difference here, but something about waking up and going out when it's still dark throws them off.

This was our day to go out with the Pacific Whale Foundation and troll the waters looking for whales.  The sun started to rise as we left the harbor.  The pink hues in the sky warmed us, and the reflection on the ocean made it seem as if we were in a Willy Wonka movie heading out in strawberry syrup.

The vessel that we were on holds up to 150 people, and only 48 were there for the sunrise voyage, so it was wonderfully empty and easy to move about and get to where you needed to be.  As we boarded, I chose the front of the boat, and quickly rounded the troops to join me.  We had front row seats to the show that the whales were about to put on.

I don't think we'd been out five minutes when we came upon a group of six whales who surfaced, blew air out of their spouts, and proceeded to do their morning stretches in front of the boat.  I kept willing them to "jump" and give me the breach shot that I was dreaming of, but I think now it's just as well they stayed down because water and cameras don't mix well.

The weather was perfect.  Even with the wind at our faces, there was no need for jackets and as I moved up to the upper deck, the silence and the water and whales was so peaceful, I almost forgot I was traveling with five other people.  The foundation put a microphone into the water, and we were serenaded by the sounds of the whales below.  I wish I'd had the sense to record it on my phone.  It was so soothing, and beautiful, but I was on high alert waiting for the breaching whale that I knew would practically jump in our boat.

For two hours we cruised around the waters of Lahaina, and as we were heading in, we noticed a whale slapping their tail furiously to our side.  The captain said we would be a few minutes late, but decided to take us closer to see the show.  As we approached, we noticed two smaller boats very close to the slapping tail, and then low and behold, a baby whale breached in front of the boat.  I'm sure that mama whale was sending the message to the boats that were too close. "Back off!!  Baby on board"  It was an amazing sight, and finished the trip off beautifully.

I'm proud to report that I'm a card carrying member of the Pacific Whale Foundation now.  I have a free poster to prove it, and feel great that all the money raised by them goes to educate the children and families of Maui.  The waters here are too precious to have ignorant people living around them.  They only just recently started recycling plastic bottles and not using plastic bags in the grocery stores.  It's so important that all people protect the ocean and it's inhabitants, otherwise Hawaii won't remain my happy place. 

Stepping off of soapbox now. Lecture finished, but please know, that this woman is indeed happy in her "happy place" It rained early this morning, and Mark jumped out of bed to close the skylights.  It's OK, we're on vacation, sleep is easy to come by whether in bed, on the beach, or lounging on the deck.  This woman chooses to take it all in, watch the waves roll in, with sunlight on them, rain drying on the deck, birds chirping, and save sleep for when she returns to Oregon.

The motley crew at dark o hundred waiting to board the boat.

Marvelous Mark enjoying the sunrise, looking back at Lahaina
Motley crew on lookout at the front of the boat
Thar she blows!!
I must be in heaven!

Mother and baby playing in the water.

Warning, "back off" 

jump, jump jump!

Dining on the patio...life is good.

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