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    Home / Examples of Humpback Whale Sightings / Sightings / Dec. 17, 2002... an example of a whale watch trip

    Dec. 17, 2002... an example of a whale watch trip

    By: Denver Leaman

    While the official season starts on December 15th, I didn’t get out on the water until today.

    We had a good inaugural trip with the sighting of a yearling right away just north of Kailua. Yearlings and their mothers are some of the first arrivals into waters off the Kona coast. His (or her) mother had already abandoned this yearling after its summer in Alaska.

    While in Alaskan waters, the yearling had learned how to socialize with other whales and to feed on the fish and krill found there. Yearlings are about 30’ long and have doubled from the 12’ to 15’ length that they measured at birth. Since this was the first time in its life that the yearling had been on its own it was just meandering in the area with no apparent goal in mind. While I try not to be anthropocentric, it always seems that yearlings are looking for the mothers that so unceremoniously abandoned them in our waters.

    We soon headed farther north toward Keahole Point and ran across another yearling with the same meandering swimming behavior. This whale was accompanied by a pod of Hawaiian spinner dolphins. This made the job of following the whale much easier as the dolphins were able to follow the underwater path of the whale.

    The dolphins allowed us to stay closer to this yearling even with the erratic changes in direction that it exhibited. As we finally headed back toward Kailua Bay, it seemed the season was looking very bright indeed

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    Denver Leaman

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