Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Back home for Christmas

Firstly, this is not my picture, I got it from here. I have not yet been fortunate enough to take a good picture of the humpback whales in Hawai'i.

The coquis are becoming a little quieter tonight, the surf isn't too loud although I can still hear the waves crashing against the cliffs, but I can hear something else as well. It's a really strange sound, something similar to "aawhooheee" followed by a "hhrrmmpphh" and then a "bwosshhh!".

I've heard the sound before and eleven years ago, at about this time of year, I heard it for the first time. I'd just arrived back from work, it was a quiet windless evening with the sun about to set and I heard the strangest sounds to the north. I stopped and tried to listen in case my imagination was playing tricks, but I heard it again. Whoohoohaaeee! Bwoshhh! Slap! Hrmph!

Eleven years ago I ran upstairs and out into the lanai. In those days the nearby ocean was easily visible from there (the beautiful palm trees in my back yard have grown since then!). I needed to know what was causing that strange sound.

Back then, a few hundred yards away, was a mother humpback whale and her baby sheltering in the bay. The noises were the mother calling to her calf and the occasional tail and flipper slap on the ocean's surface followed by a violent exhalation of air through her blowhole. I could even hear the calf 's calls every so often.

Tonight I can hear the same thing but it's too dark to go to the cliffs. I can relax, though, knowing that a mother and baby are back home for Christmas. I wonder if the mother is that calf from eleven years ago?


Beep said...

Oh! They are so beautiful!

Mele kalikimaka to you!

Keera Ann Fox said...

They are beautiful.

Tom, watch my blog Dec. 25 (my time). And Merry Christmas/god jul!

John Powell said...

Thanks for the story. Merry Christmas to you, and to your whales.

Diane said...

Again, ever so jealous. Sigh.

We did have a great time in Washington and funnily enough, even I didn't notice the phallic nature of the photos! I've corrupted you, eh? Yeah, well, I've been accused of worse things ;). I really was just being a good mom, though... we head up to DC every couple of months, as it's not quite 2 hours to the train and then another 1/2 hour into the city. We tramp around the monuments and the 14,000 Smithsonian buildings to our hearts' content :). We even have a museum membership! So if you DO ever make it to Washington, let me know. I've shown my fair share of Englishmen around.

OK, that last sentence didn't sound right. At all. Get your mind out of the gutter, man. I just mean I'm a good tour guide!

Hope your Christmas is wonderful!!