Friday, February 6, 2009

A Three Hour Tour

This morning was an early one. We got up at 6am to be out the door around 6:30 and to the dock by 7am to go on a 3 hour tour with Dan McSweeney's Whale Watchers (I'll post the info later).

The photos of whales are of Humpback Whales, who are currently here in Hawaii for mating season through March, then they go back to their whale homes and gorge themselves until next January or so when they come back. The whole time they are 'in mating' they do not eat! Here's what a Humpback looks like so you can find them in the photos below:

Below are most of the photos that I took. I will tell you that to see most of the whales in them you have to open them up so the images are big to see much of anything. And even then, whales are pretty tricky and only a small portion of their bodies surface when they do come up for air, so in most of the whale images, you're seeing a bit of the top of him (or her), like in the image above (the dorsal fin to tail part is showing). Okay, so it will basically look like a dark blob on the water in most pictures, but believe me, it's a whale. We got to see about a dozen of them this morning all over the place, some closer to the boat then others, but they're too quick to really capture with just an average digital camera, so you'll just have to trust me in most cases.

Oh, and we also saw a bunch of dolphins, as you'll see further down:



Whales #1: There are two whales in this set of pictures. These are the hardest ones to make out. If you look at the horizon line at about the right third there are two darker spots (not the waves by the boat!) you may be able to make them out.

Whales #2: Okay, here's another whale in a series of photos. Look closely. He is by the railing and the horizon line:

An air puff (what looks like a bit of a smudge on the horizon line is the water falling from the whale's breathing).

Still by the railing/horizon line, there's a little dark spot in the water. That's him.

AND A TAIL! This is probably the best picture of any of the whales that I caught. We saw them closer and bigger but they're hard to catch! Even so, this is pretty cool.

Whales #3 - Here's another one that's not too tricky to make out.

Dorsal fin sticking out of the water.

Whales #4:

Did you see it????

Jeff, looking for whales.

The Island.

Whales #5:

See the puff of water?

It's 2 whales

Some Coastline to enjoy:

Hey look - Dolphins! Our boat went right through a dolphin area, some of them swam not too far from the boat. There where a couple dozen of them, and it was really cool to see them swimming together!

These are Spinner dolphins, in case you where wondering. And no, we didn't see any spin today.

Amazing Blue water. About 100 Ft depth visibility.

Whales #6:

This whale is waving at us with his flipper!

Another Dolphin!

Whales #7:

More of the Coastline on our way back:

Home! About the middle of the photo is a line of 4 buildings (the last 2 are yellow). We live in the 2nd building from the left on that strip. The yellow buildings are those under construction. We are about a mile off of the coast.

Okay, that's it for Whale and dolphin photos for today. I hoped you enjoyed them. They where much cooler in real life, so if you ever get to do something like this, do it. It's worth it.

And now I will leave you with a picture of a mongoose taken on our way out to the harbor this morning.

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