Taking paradise for granted

One of the problems with living in paradise is that one can become a bit spoiled and begin taking our blessings for granted.

“Ho-hum, just another rainbow. Yes, yes, that is a beautiful crystal-clear waterfall, surrounded by lush, emerald foliage.”

You get the point.

One of Maui’s incredible features that we have taken for granted the past few years is the yearly migration of the North Pacific humpback whales to our waters. Every winter these huge, beautiful creatures make their way south from Alaska’s frigid waters to Hawaii to mate and give birth to their young.

One of the whales’ favorite spots is the channel that runs between Maui and Lanai, all the way up to Molokai. Thousands of the huge mammals visit Maui’s waters annually.

Wednesday, we went on our first whale watch in several years. Granted, we had a good excuse for missing work to enjoy a day looking for whales — a 4-year-old grandson who had never been on such an adventure.

Frankly, we were a bit afraid that we wouldn’t see many whales. After all, March 21 is a bit late in the season, right?

Wrong. There were whales everywhere. At first as we pulled out of Maalaea Harbor, there were just a few distant blows. But about a quarter-hour into the trip, we encountered a mother with her calf. Both apparently wanted to put on a show while Mom taught Junior how to breach, raise a pectoral fin and slap a tail on the surface of the water.

The baby really liked slapping his tail. Our grandson loved it.

There were a couple of other encounters with mothers and babies. Two of those also included an escort whale. Our boat stopped still in the water when one trio came within about 50 yards and put on a 15-minute show.

The whole afternoon was a great reminder that we truly live in a magical place. Our grandson said, “I really liked the baby whales.”

So did we. But we liked the adult ones, too.

We’d heartily recommend that you reconnect with these yearly visitors to our waters. They are at once amazing and entertaining.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.

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