First Humpback of the Year

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Winter time in Maui is marked by a few signs of the season. The waves grow large on the north shore, the temperatures cool a bit and a smattering of deciduous tree species lose their leaves. One of the surest signs of winter is the arrival of the island’s favorite snow bird or more appropriately snow mammal. Every winter, the waters off our coastline teem with Humpback whales. These gentle giants and their acrobatics are a true delight. The bulk of the whales do not begin to arrive until late December or even January. However, there are always a few stalwarts that make it by early October. An article in Wednesday’s Maui News detailed a possible sighting near Lanai. The sighting was somewhat inconclusive as only one crew member of the snorkel cruise saw the whale. Today’s paper had a follow up article. The sighting was not a fluke. The same boat spotted the whale and this time everyone on the boat was treated to a show. They watched a young male surface and submerge a number of times over a period of 45 minutes. I look forward to my own first sighting of these gentle giants.

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