Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Together

Overcast windy weather drives us to Moorea's north side, past Cook's bay, without a single blow to be seen two hours into our watch.

Jerome's hunch proves to be a good one though, when two plumes suddenly greet us not too far off. First dip's in vain, but on the second drop, in barely 10m of water, I get to see an imposing humpback mother with calf in her wake gliding by right beside me! Nobody else got in the water in time. Back on board, we wait for the baby to breach again. Sure enough, a few minutes later it briefly surfaces in our neighborhood and we all slip in.


Luck's with us as the mother no longer seems to see us as threat and decides to hang around. Letting her baby pop up every few minutes while remaining below. Only when she needs to come up for air too, about every twenty minutes, do we need to climb back onto our boat to be dropped off where she dives down again. An adult whale easily covers hundred meters or more between ascent, 3-4 breaths and descent. Four times we had the privilege to float in the water near mother & calf, before having to head back to base, due to time-out.

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