The Greatest Show On Earth
There are literally hundreds of humpback whale encounters that we are treated to each year. However, special ones stand out in my memory as being the greatest show on earth. Humpback whales perform breaching by flipping themselves entirely out of the water in an air attack so intense, it’s like a rocket coming full blast out of the sea. Their power is awesome. They twist in midair, and land smack on their side with a loud bang. Today I met a whale I’ll never forget (we later named him Hollywood). he was a young male trying to impress a female in waters right off our raft.
Hollywood was not a very big whale but he sure had a lot of heart – a real showstopper. We came across Hollywood in a totally stationary state, with a loyal girlfriend whale at his side. We turned off the engines and allowed the tradewinds to float our raft in their general direction, and as the whales got closer to the boat, it became one of the most amazing encounters we’ve had. The amount of white coloring on this male made him appear turquoise near the surface of the water. The whale couple was positioned right below the raft, sending every passenger on board into a state of sheer excitement about what we were about to see.
We peered down and realized that Hollywood and his girl were about 20 feet below the raft, and looking straight up at us. This lasted for five long minutes and then the whales disappeared into the deep, blue depths of the sea.
“Everyone looked at one another and had to agree that we had been a part of something truly special, not knowing that this was about to get even better.”
Now, in the near distance, Hollywood showed off his youth and endurance with a series of breaches to everyone’s delight. We all had to stare in awe as we witnessed at least 20 full breaches, with great twisting action and huge splashes. There are whales and then there are whales – Hollywood will be stamped into my memory forever.