Friday, March 15, 2013

A Whale of a Story

I must admit that I have had prior opportunities to view whales and passed because I easily get sea-sick and Dramamine makes me very sleepy.  I threw caution to the wind on this trip and took the big D, did NOT get sleepy, and did NOT get seasick.  

We saw humpbacks...the ones that blow bubbles under the herring to make them rise to the surface in a tiny group and then the whales can have dinner!  They also sing lovely haunting songs...which as I am sure you have read is probably the basis of the mythology behind sex-starved sailors and mermaid songs.  Quick stats so that you can appreciate my poor photos where I decided not to bring a telephoto on the boat...big regret, although there was really no safe place to store my camera bag once we went snorkeling, safe from the elements was my concern not theft.  They can be up to 50 feet in length, weigh 50 tons, filter small plankton along with small fishes such as herring, they are usually near the ocean surface and thus the easiest to photograph.

Before you scroll below, let me tell you of an adventure my husband had while SCUBA diving doing graduate work in Hawaii.  He was counting organism settlement on the underside of large concrete pipes that had been placed as a substrate for an artificial reef in about 40-50 feet of water.  While down there he heard the most awful sound...like a giant barn door squeaking open and closed...and the reverberation within the pipe made it more terrifying in sound.  He stopped his counting, stopped his breathing in the regulator, and peaked out the mouth of the large pipe.  There just a few yards away was a whale just singing along as if hubby was no where near.  I think my wet suit would have needed careful cleaning if that had happened to me.

Photos below are not good (I know I say that and you get upset...but REALLY they are not great) but pretend you are sitting on the bow deck and taking photos.  Photo number four with the city in the background is of a mom and her calf and the mist of a spray.







17 comments:

SueAnn Lommler said...

So beautiful...awesome views
Hugs
SueAnn

joeh said...

Looks like they put on quite a show. And so close to shore too.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Whales are certainly a beautiful sight -- liked all the photos -- barbara

Red said...

Whales are extremely difficult to photograph. there's not much of them sticking above the water so you got some excellent shots.

Linda Reeder said...

Yes, they are hard to photograph, especially from a moving boat. Good job! We saw then from a distance in the waters off Alaska in July.

Brian Miller said...

oh wow...what an experience he had...and you as well even just to get to see them..my parents have...i just imagine the awe...wow...so cool....

Dave King said...

Gorgeous creatures -- unless you are up too close and personal, I suppose!
Fine, fine post.

Scriptor Senex said...

I'm jealous. Enough said...

ellen abbott said...

wow! they are really close to shore. have never seen whales except in pictures.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I've only managed the odd glimpse of tail at a distance - I'd love to hear their songs!

sonia a. mascaro said...

Really fantastic to see whales in person! Just great pictures!

Granny Annie said...

Of course I love the pictures and everyone loves the tail showing out of the water and the whale leaping into the air, but who ever shows a whale and her calf misting? Just you!

kenju said...

But the photos ARE good!!

Hilary said...

Only you could photograph heart-shaped air and water from Whale's blowhole and say it's not great. Wonderful!

Dave said...

Whale watching is a unique experience Tabor. We did it here in NZ once. Glad you were able to get your pictures. An interesting experience for your husband! - Dave

Kay said...

Wow! You got far better photos of the whales than we did when we were on Maui last year. Your photos are so clear and wonderful!

Beverly said...

just to see that is wondrous!!!