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Archive for the ‘Dolphins’ Category

Ok, I had A LOT of technical difficulties getting this uploaded.  Turns out, I just needed a much faster internet connection! Here we go a couple videos of the False Killer Whale encounter:

Last year I used to go on a lot of whale watches for fun because I only worked once, sometimes twice, a week.  This year I have not gone on very many because I have been working a bit more. One of my good friends is leaving to hike the Appalachian Trail for the next eight months, so we decided to go out on a trip. Turns out she picked the trip of the century! We saw a species of whale that I have never seen in Hawaii.  Every day, people ask if there are any other types of whales in Maui and every day I say no, but today I realized my normal answer is not exactly truthful.

We saw a pod of at least 50 False Killer Whales.  They look like really big dolphins with rounder faces, and they display behaviors like our humpbacks, which was strange to see. Our boat was in the center of the group and they spanned a quarter mile in every direction.  We saw them tail slap, chin slap, and even breach.  The breaching was incredible; there was at least ten feet between bottom of the tail and the surface of the water.  For those of you familiar with Maui, we followed these animals from the end of the Lahaina harbor channel all the way to Black Rock. Once they reached Black Rock they joined up with Humpbacks and Spinner dolphins.  It was one crazy day! I have a few videos that are on the way and should be up within the next couple of days.

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Although I have an infinite love for the whales, I am still obsessed with dolphins.  We have an expression out here in Maui that perfectly describes why we get so excited when we see dolphins, it’s something along the lines of, “Any day on the water you can go out and find the whales, but the dolphins find you.”  We have three types of dolphins (Bottlenose, Spotted, and Spinners) but one stands out among the others.  The Spinner dolphins are smaller than the other varieties, and have babies that are so adorable it is hard to describe, other than to say they look like little grey, spinning footballs.

There are, as far as I can tell, two large pods of spinners.  They mostly hang out further away from Maui, typically on the backside of Lanai.  I have only seen them a handful of times and it had been a while, I was itching for a sighting! On the last trip on Sunday we had gone south and an adolescent whale came over toward us.  I had spotted a pod of spinners that were getting closer but we couldn’t move because our whale was too close.  Finally, as we broke away we were late returning to the harbor but Captain Dave announced, “This is for you Katie!” I came out of the cabin and he was speeding away from the harbor and headed directly toward the pod. I was so excited, and of course wasn’t able to catch a picture of them spinning (when they jump into the air they can do up to 7 revolutions) but I got a couple of great shots as they were riding our wake.  Above is the whale that mugged us, below are the spinners.

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