Thursday, January 31, 2013

Whales & dolphins oh my!

Great private charter today with Alan's family in from North Carolina. We were greeted outside the harbor by a group of spinner dolphins that rode the bow as we headed offshore to look for whales. We barely made it a couple miles before we spotted a lone bull pilot whale cruising south. He was friendly and stayed on the surface near the boat. We knew there must be more nearby and they weren't hard to find. The nursery group was about 15 mothers and youngsters with a couple juvenile bulls. We were watching this group slowly moving south as I was noticing activity all around us. Within a half mile or so of us I was seeing fins and spouts all around us until everything seemed to converge in one spot. A group of spotted dolphins came in from the south as a couple more bull pilot whales escorted a young humpback whale into the fray until there was a pile of fins all swimming together! It was amazing to see three species of marine mammals all swimming together and in a very playful manner. Both the dolphins and pilot whales were wrapped around the humpback as the whale was spinning around and seemingly enjoying all the attention. The humpback was spinning and twisting around as the dolphins and pilot whales took turns riding the pressure wave in front of him! Sooooo cooool! The spotted dolphins bailed after about ten minutes and continued north but the pilot whales and humpback continued to swim together for around an hour. It was an epic show and something I've only witnessed a few times in my 15 years in kona. It seemed unlikely to find a better show so we took our group into the marine preserve for some snorkeling and chillaxing where we found a small reef shark sleeping in a lava tube.

Another great day in kona!


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