Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Maui Weather and Humpbacks

From Monday’s Maui News:

Today – Partly sunny
Tonight – Clear to partly cloudy
Tuesday – Mixed clouds and sunshine
Wednesday – Periods of clouds and sun
Thursday – Partly sunny
Friday – Sunny to partly cloudy

Just think, how many ways can you describe the weather when there is a more-or-less consistent mixture of sun and clouds? It must be a tough job to be a weather forecaster on Maui (he says sarcastically).

Of course, they still don’t always get it right (what do they do, email it in from the beach?). I was planning to play golf today but there have been showers up at Kapalua which caused me to postpone my tee time until Wednesday. However, I was just treated to a beautiful rainbow right outside my window.

Winter Visitors:

It was also reported in the Maui News that the first sightings of humpback whales were made by several boats. As you may or may not know, humpback whales migrate from their summer feeding waters in Alaska to their winter home in the Hawaiian Islands where the females give birth. The waters between Maui, Molokai and Lanai seem to be favored by humpbacks — presumably because the triangle of islands dampens the open-ocean waves generated by winter storms. Apparently this is also a good environment for the whale sex parties — since most of the females return to Alaska already pregnant.

The initial sightings tend to be of young males — I guess they race each other just like human teenagers. Surprisingly, this year one of the early sightings was a mother and calf. There are strict regulations protecting the humpbacks — for example, boats cannot approach them but it is okay if the whales approach the boats (and boats are obligated to slow or stop to avoid any possible collision).

Human winter visitors and locals alike enjoy spotting the whales as they spout or breach or slap the surface of the ocean.  The bell at the right is used at Napili Shores to alert folks to whale sightings.

Note that a baby humpback whale weighs in at 1 to 1.5 tons.  Because whale milk is so high in fat, the calves gain weight quickly — which is needed so they can join in the migration back to Alaska in the spring.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com