20 April 1997

Humpback city

Brother-in-law Geoff, niece Melissa, Liz and I were in a C172 over the north shore of Maui, Hawaii. We were enjoying the view of the coastline with the rain forest and the famous tortuous Hana highway. The trip from Kahului to Hana is fifteen minutes by air but three hours plus by car! Liz said she was "bored" by the spectacular scenery so she momentarily stared out over the open ocean. Suddenly she was very excited but couldn't get any words out. Pointing out the window she finally said a la Star Trek IV, "Thar be whales!" There was a pod of whales, 4-5 individuals including a mother and calf. We watched them breach, spout water and play for several minutes as we circled (at least 500 feet) above them! It is much easier to see whales from the air because they can be seen 100 feet under water. I'm sure Liz was more impressed by the whales than pools of boiling lava that we saw on the Big Island later that day.

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