Just over a year ago, we were on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island. While we were there, we took every opportunity we could survey the ocean in search of a humpback whale. We loved it.
On our final evening before flying back home, we took a sunset catamaran sail with Ocean Sports, which also served as a dinner cruise and whale watching cruise. Bonus! (See my review of Ocean Sports Big Island Sunset Sail from our first experience with them. Notice that the review includes a video of an unexpected and very exciting close encounter with a humpback.)
Within a few minutes of starting our catamaran adventure, we started seeing some whale spouts (exhalations) and whales “logging” or floating near the surface. Then they’d disappear. We believe we may have been observing a mother, a calf and a male. We’d still keep our eyes in the general direction of where we saw the whales as we floated along the Kohala Coastline. Several minutes would pass with no signs of the whales at all.
Andy had snapped photos like the following, which were good, but the whales were somewhat subdued. They’re interesting whale shots, but not like the epic breach we were hoping to see and catch on film.
More time would pass with nothing to see. Then, the moment we’d been waiting for – a huge humpback breaches just about 30 yards from us.
Here’s how Andy described the scene and how with just a little luck he was able to capture the shot albeit a bit out of focus.
A funny story behind this shot.
So, we’re on a whale watching tour and had seen a few whales from a distance.
While taking a break, this big old humpback decides to breach about 30 yards from the boat.
My camera was hanging at my waist, but I happened to have my finger on the shutter. 😉
And instinct took over.
I knew I couldn’t get the viewfinder to my eye fast enough, so I just kept my finger on the shutter and fired off half a dozen shots before my camera’s buffer was full.
So forgive this shot being a little blurry, but it almost never happened! 🙂
I certainly don’t mind the blur. When I see the photo, I’m almost instantly taken back to that moment of amazement seeing this massive animal emerge from what seem like “out of nowhere”.