Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Littlest Humpback Calf

Two days in a row we were able to swim with a very small (less than 2 week old) baby humpback whale calf off Tofu'a'a.  This particular mother was very comfortable with people in the water with the baby.  Both mom and baby showed off for some of the boats with fin and fluke slaps (baby tried to copy mom) and lots of baby breeches.  Some of the photos of this pair are among my favorite of the entire trip.  Note that the baby likes to cuddle up under mom's chin.
The baby, though much bigger than us, was very small in comparison to mom.  The bond between them was palpable.
I adore this shot of the calf:
This particular mom and calf we had a chance to be with for an extended time as they napped.  It was surreal - at one point the mom and baby were under us, and between us and them floated lots of soccer ball sized jellyfish.  As luck would have it, it was the last drop of the day and lasted longer than usual and my camera battery died, so I have very few photos of that particular swim with them - bit lots of indelible memories.  We also, the following day and last swim of the trip, saw this same baby nursing.  Amazing!!

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