Whale of a Birthday

My birthday is in January…I know, I know. That doesn’t really count as a “Holiday memory”…but I’m going to include this story because it was the end of an era.

When I left Indiana for college in California, my parents retired and moved to Maui, HI. When I could, I would visit for Christmas (the only times I didn’t when I had to work).

Anybut, in 2016, my parents moved back to the mainland. So, for the last time I’d visit before their move, we went whale watching. We’ve done it many times throughout the years, but this was special.

Not only was it the last whale watching we’d probably ever do in Maui, it was the last time I’d probably ever visit the island…it’s expensive to fly out there and stay in a hotel.

I really loved whale watching because even if you didn’t see a lot of whales, you always saw SOMETHING. We didn’t expect anything like what we witnessed.

The boat we were on easily found a whale and we followed it, thinking we’d lose track of it in no time.

Then we got SURROUNDED! I mean there were four or five whales that appeared from outta nowhere. The captain had to shut off the engine (humpbacks are an endangered species and large boats are required to turn their engines off when within a certain distance).

Long story short…I got a selfie with a whale.

My parents like to joke that this was Hawaii giving them a farewell gift.

Before I show video, I should preface with this: I’ve gone whale watching many times in Maui…but this was the first time this EVER happened to us. Even the captain of the boat stopped what he was doing to get some pictures.

Here are videos of how close these buggers got (I apologize for any weird sounds as I adjust my grip on my phone so it doesn’t fall into the ocean):

“What is happening?!” one of the guides on the boat.
This is the whale in my selfie checking out the boat.

Also, apologies if I’ve already posted about this…but it’s still one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced.

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