As soon as I got back to Maui from New Mexico, things felt different. I started settling in a bit, more relaxed with people around me, and great things started happening. Something had changed, and suddenly I felt lucky, whereas I felt unlucky when I left Maui 3 weeks prior. T
hen, just a couple nights ago, I was walking along the beach and looked out at what I thought was a sailboat on the horizon. Then, I saw the black shape move, and a space of sky opened between the shape and the water. In a flash, it vanished into the ocean. I almost wondered if I really saw it…. my first humpback whale. It was way out on the horizon. They had arrived! I walked along the beach, looking sideways at the horizon, not where I was walking. I didn’t want to miss anything. At one point, I looked away, and when I looked back, there was a HUGE splash out on the horizon. The whale must have made an amazing breach to create that kind of splash! I have seen a breach each night since, and I think I saw a dolphin last night, because it was really close. Considering humpback whales are born around 13 feet long and weighing 2 tons, I doubt it was even a baby whale I saw.
I feel like the whales brought magic to the islands. The kona winds are coming through, so the weather is changing, the birds are more active, the ocean is colder and murkier from all the storms, and things feel different. People are moving off the island suddenly, and there are new neighbors all around me. Change is everywhere, big change. In many ways, I feel privileged to live where the humpbacks choose to come each year to mate and birth their young. I tried finding some basic information about the Hawaiian history of the whale, specifically spiritual history, and I found mostly information about whaling. I would love to learn about the ancient Hawaiian perspective on the whale and what the coming of the whales each winter signified for them. To me, they are lucky, and with them comes a whirlwind of change that is exciting and fresh. I am beginning to think that winter on Maui is even more magical than the summer.
- The Greatest Migration on Earth (livescience.com)
- Try this! Whale watching from a small boat (theglobeandmail.com)