Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Whale of a Tale

Hi Rhea's blog world! I'm Rhea's Mom, Katherine.
In a weak moment, I agreed to be a guest blogger this week.
I'm new at this, so be patient with me.
As Rhea mentioned, my husband and I just returned from Maui.
It's whale season there right now.

The endangered, Northern Pacific Humpback whales trek 3,000 miles from Alaska to have their babies
or breed in the safe, warmer waters of Maui. Why Maui? Who knows?
But, it's a pretty fabulous place for humans, too!

The Humpbacks eat plankton, krill and small fish found in northern Pacific water. These food sources aren't present in Maui. So, the humpbacks fast, and live off their fat reserves while in Hawaii.

It's like a weight loss, spa trip into warmer waters ... except for the ones having babies.

The moms weigh about 40 tons, and are about 42-45 feet long.
The sound of a 40 ton whale breaching the water and plopping back down is incredible!
No one knows if they breach to play ... or to knock off parasites. Maybe both.
Or maybe they're trying to run off those pesky males that want to breed.

They also release "spouts" which you can see from far away. I love how the spouts glisten in the sunlight. The spouts are actually whales exhaling.

We went out on a whale watching expedition. Actually, we were in awe of these creatures, and went out three times. I got so close to one whale that I got sprayed by her spout! This whale was a juvenille, and probably weighed about 20 tons.

She held our boat hostage for about an hour as she played with us ... and swam under and around our boat, over and over again. Several times, she came up to look at us.

Baby humpbacks are born weighing about 3,000 pounds (that's about what my car weighs), and they drink 100 gallons of milk a day. They gain several pounds a day. Whale milk is about 50% fat.
There are many amazing facts about the world's largest mammal.

And, this is the whale's fluke! .... the tail's end! And, the end of my tale.

Thanks for letting me join the blogging world today, and be a guest on Rhea's blog.
She's such a fabulous, creative, and loving daughter.
More on that, another time.


Anonymous said...

I love whales...and your pictures are awesome!

Twisted Fencepost said...

Great pictures and narration! Thanks for sharing this, Rhea's Mom!!
I would love to go on a whale expedition sometime.

Shannon said...

Wow, great pics!

It's nice to meet you, Rhea's mom!

I've been on a whale-watch tour before... from Long Island, NY... I'd have to Google "whales that live in the Atlantic Ocean" to remember what kinds we saw!

Unknown said...

Oh, how lovely! I want to go to Maui now. I guess I could settle for whale watching off of Long Island like commenter Shannon did.

Keys to the Magic Travel said...

I have always wanted to go on a whale watching expedition. Not that I have ever been anywhere that offered it. But I have always wanted to do it. That and go to Hawaii.

When that whale was "holding your boat hostage" did you worry at all that it might nudge or capsize your boat??

Katherine said...

Hi Kat. Actually your point is one that frequently crossed my mind. The whales were often much longer than our boat, and I even saw kyakers and whales within a 10-20 feet of one another (more unusual - law says that humans must stop at 100 yards away from humpbacks, but this doesn't stop the humpbacks from coming to humans!). However, the whales seem to be friendly and curious, and aware of what they were doing. Gentle giants of sorts.

All Things BD said...

Awesome pictures. Thanks for sharing your adventure!

Screwed Up Texan said...

Love the photograpghs! I agree, nice narration. Thanks for sharing!

Valarie Lea said...

Ok, now I want to go to Maui!! A friend of mine is there right now and actually went on one of these trips the other day.

Thanks for blogging for Rhea! :)

Mama Dawg said...

Rhea's mama ROCKS!

So glad you shared pics and your story about seeing the whales.

Brandy said...

Great post Rhea's mom! Those are some awesome pictures...makes me want to go on vacation NOW.

Came by to clicky!

Britt said...

Great pictures! Now we get a glimpse of where Rhea get's her photo skills from, huh?

It looks so sunny and warm there... really making me jones for summer over here =-)

Sally-Ann said...

Wonderful pictures! I love whales, so I enjoyed your post very much.

Anonymous said...

Great pictures! Thanks for keeping it up Katherine!

Red from Ktown said...

Nice nature lesson. I LOVE, no I Luuuuuvvvveeee Maui/Hawaii.

I went once and when there, we saw a mother whale that had stayed behind the pod with her new calf. It was amazing to see!!

Susie said...

Breathtaking photos!!

Anna Lefler said...

Great photos and great job on the guest post!


:^) anna

Grand Pooba said...

Wow those are amazing pics! My husband and I went on a whale watching tour like 5 years ago and trying to get pictures of those things is so hard!

Jill said...

Hi Rhea's mom! Nice to have you here. Actually I think you should start your own one. You did darn good for a guest blogger. I loved this post because I love whales. I am facinated by them and one day my dream is to do what you did. They might never get me off the boat though. Nice to meet you!

Jill :)

Jen said...

those are some awesome photos. thanks for the whale lesson, Rhea's mom.

Scary Mommy said...

Wow!! Those are amazing!! And I am just so impressed that you guest posted. My mom can barely figure out how to comment!

Lula! said...

Oh wow! Beautiful pictures, fantastic information.

This was fun, Rhea's mom! Great job!

Sunny said...

Thanks for the tour. Your first blog post is good.

Putting the FUN in DysFUNctional said...

Very interesting whale facts! It's hard to even wrap my brain around them being SO big, even the babies.
Great post and pictures! Thanks for sharing with us, Rhea's Mom.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Great pictures. Come back and guest blog again sometime.

Katherine said...

Thanks for all the kind remarks & the nice reception. This was fun!

Perhaps Rhea will let me share more photos in the future ... and maybe some thoughts about life.

Warm Regards to you all,
Katherine (Rhea's Mom)

Brooke said...

gorgeous photos!! :)

Ash said...

Nicely done!!

The pictures are fantastic.

Just wait, you'll have your own blog soon...

J'Ollie Primitives said...

Beautiful post and pics!

Tiffany said...

You are a great guest blogger and your pictures are fabulous!

Mariah said...

Hi Mom!
Great pictures! Thanks for guest postingon here. Nice to *meet* you

Misty DawnS said...

Yep... now I see where Rhea gets her great writing ability!

Justine said...

Hi Rhea's mom! Sorry I haven't been here sooner, but I've been packing up one house and unpacking another. not fun!
The whales are just gorgeous, but didn't you get seasick going into deep water? Oy.
I honeymooned on Maui and I have to say it's one of the most beautiful places I've been!
Great job on the post, Mom!

Justine :o )

lynette355 said...

Rhea's Mom your doing a great job of hosting. Make Rhea take a vacation and we will all sit and have coffee and kibitz