Mama Humpback Whale Smiles… (no joke!)
One of the reasons that my husband and I chose to return to Maui so soon after our trip here last August was because of all of the buzz regarding the sighting of humpback whales in these protected waters from December through early April. In fact, the lady that helped manage our condo last year mentioned that where we were situated was ideal for whale season, and that right from our lanai, we would be able to whale watch. Well…say no more, as here we sit and she was EXACTLY right! Every day during our stay, we have been able to watch the fascinating mammals breach, blow water and tail flip. Truly an amazing sight in person, much like when we first witnessed the beauty of green sea turtles up close–initially on the Big Island, then here in Maui.
Last Saturday, on our catamaran tour we came across our first pod of whales–a mom, her baby and the male escort. The mom was putting on quite a show for us, so much so that the naturalist on board commented on how rare of a sighting we were privy to. A few times, the female humpback was enjoying the back stroke when I happened to snap a picture of her airborne flippers. Excusing the grainy nature of my cropped picture, I purposely zoomed in on the image so that you can see that on the bottom of her right flipper (a humpback’s fingerprint), there are two black spots and a partial circle that appear to make up a happy face. Now, if that doesn’t make you want to Smile, I am not sure what will:-) This mama appears to be one happy whale!