Notable Distractions

northernmost Maui

I was up for some sunrise shooting this morning in one of my favorite settings. This is in the somewhat remote northern-most section of Maui, around mile marker 40 on Route 30. I love this place.

The sunrise wasn’t anything spectacular, but as the sun rose in the sky it bathed the moorish area in golden tones. Then I was distracted by a series of very strange sounds. I stopped what I was doing and looked around. At that hour of the morning there was not a soul in sight, no cars, nothing. I went back to work, but then there were those sounds again, this time lasting for several seconds.

I gave up and walked around the large rock that you see in the lead image and, sure enough, there was a pod of whales right off the cove below me. There were at least five humpback whale calves and three large females guarding them. To heck with sunrise photography! I quickly changed lenses although I knew I was too far away. But I wanted to share with you this delightful treat.

cavorting whales

The pod kept circling around and around, the moms keeping the calves away from shore, and the newborns trying to figure out how to breech, but failing miserably, and then trying their vocalizations and succeeding admirably, at least in the opinion of this hominid.

Maui is the most special place on Earth at this time of year. The whales are protected and they come here every year to calve, mate and nurse their young. I was smiling, even knowing my images would suck at this distance. So, I put my camera aside and just watched and listened to them frolicking. At times like these, you’ve got to get your priorities straight.

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