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Maui No Ka Oi

By mid February in the midst of the Humpback Whale season I flew from Auckland NZ via Honolulu to Maui to observe the breaches, spy-hops and fluke-flaps off Kihei and Lahaina. Besides that I intended to dive out of Kihei along the tiny croissant-shaped volcanic islet called - 'Molokini'.

While we dived there we could listen to the songs of male Humpback Whales far off in the open 'Blue'. How much we all wished that one whale would sneak up on us and gave us a good glimpse of its size and power. But no such luck.

Instead we saw Galapagos Sharks and 'Whitetippers' around the 'Cleaning Station' on the West side of Molokini a rare sight as well. There small cleaner wrasses await the arrival of parasite infested fish such as; mantas, sharks and trevally, besides the resident smaller fishes that hung around a distinct rock where they all gathered.

Cleaner wrasses at the cleaning station

Also we were very fortunate to observe the rare visit of pelagic manta rays swimming in the open off Molokini and Red Hill. At one point we counted three large mantas while we did our safety stop. How much better could that be?!

Whale Trust Event - Lahaina, Maui

No whale watch is complete without a casual gathering of like minded people caring for the survival of whales world wide. One of such events is the 'Whale Trust Event' up at Kapalua's Ritz-Carlton Hotel, an annual meeting and seminar of scientists, photographers and supporters who share and teach about the new discoveries and problems that these cetaceans (whales) face in our days.

NatGeo Photographer Flip Nicklin and Canadian scientist Jim Darling and many others expressed their concerns about the survival of whale and ocean in general.

I signed up with one of Jim Darling's whale watch cruises and learn some fascinating facts about the rarely studied sounds of Humpback Whales.

Humpback mother and its calf hug each other.

The time on Maui went by quickly. I could film some impressive encounters with trevallys, mantas, whales and sharks while we explored the shores of Maui.

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