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San Francisco, California, United States
Kerouac has nothing on Daisy! So we've decided to take to the open road and chronicle our journey. A girl (okay, a woman, but girl sounds so much better & more interesting, doesn't it?), her dog and a convertible. There's gotta be some stories here, right?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Humpbacks in Hawaii

This past Tuesday, Steve and I had an amazing experience that I'd like to share with you.  We were out paddling in a 2 man ocean canoe in Hawaii and came upon a pod of humpback whales.  These beautiful animals come down from Alaska to winter in Hawaii where they enjoy the warm waters, give birth and mate.

As soon as we began paddling that morning we spotted a whale straight ahead of us.  We started paddling toward it.  Before we knew it, we were about 25 to 30 yards from a baby, his mom, an adolescent and an escort--a huge male--who protects the mom and baby.  To say we were in awe is an understatement.  These guys are enormous--an adult is about 40 to 50 feet long and weighs about 40 tons.  A new born is about 1500 pounds and about 15 feet long.  The ocean canoe we were in is about 15 feet long (also the size of an adults pec fin!) and is light enough that I can carry the boat on my own.  Talk about feeling small and putting one's life and place in the universe into perspective.

The baby was playing and began breaching--we were lucky enough to catch the experience on video.  We  hung out with this pod for about 2 hours--the video is about 15 minutes.  Turn up your volume while watching it because at one point, when the camera is underwater, you can hear the whales singing--the males do that and it is hauntingly beautiful.

This was truly an amazing experience that we feel beyond fortunate to have experienced.  As I believe in the importance of giving back, I came home and researched nonprofits that protect the humpbacks.  After researching different groups, their work and their ratings on Charity Navigator, we are making a donation to the Wildlife Conservation Society and earmarking it for their work to save humpbacks.  It is our small way of thanking the universe for its gift to us that morning. 

To quote marine life artist Wyland, "If you want a lesson in beauty, in harmony, in balance, just swim with whales or dolphins."  Indeed. 

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