19 January 2014 | 02 21.241'S:105 37.595'E, between Bangka and Sumatra
10 January 2014 | 02 44.5'S:111 43.9'E, Kumai, Kalimantan, Indonesia (Borneo)
07 January 2014 | 06 59.103'S:114 07.199'E, East end of Madura, Eastern end of Java, Indonesia
24 December 2013 | 08 30.473'S:116 01.389'E, Lombok, Indonesia
19 December 2013 | Komodo National Park, Indonesia
14 December 2013 | Komodo National Park, Indonesia
06 December 2013 | 08 31.113'S:119 52.065'E, Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia
05 December 2013 | 08 23.583'S:120 02.972'E, Flores Sea
04 December 2013 | 07 57'S:120 49'E, Flores Sea
03 December 2013 | 07 16.0'S:122 11.7'E, Bone Rate, Indonesia
02 December 2013 | 06 03.9'S:124 08'E, Wakatobi, Indonesia
01 December 2013 | 04 54.932'S:126 13.158'E, The Banda Sea
30 November 2013 | 3 42.134'S:128 10.149'E, Ambon City
25 November 2013 | 4 31.374'S:129 53.872'E, Melissa's Garden, Raja Ampat, Papua
25 November 2013 | 4 31.374'S:129 53.872'E, Raja Ampat
25 November 2013 | 4 31.374'S:129 53.872'E, Banda Neira
18 November 2013 | 1 53.459'S:129 43.990'E, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
18 November 2013 | 1 13.245'S:129 45.069'E, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
17 November 2013 | 0 26.578'S:130 26.639'E, Raja Ampat
10 November 2013 | 0 57.185'S:130 40.136'E, Raja Ampat
18 October 2012 | 18 39.117'S:173 59.182'W, Tonga
My posts have gotten farther and fewer between. Its easy and nice to get away from the internet! But yesterday's activities merit a post. We spent the day swimming with a mother humpback whale and her calf here in the Vava'u group in Tonga. Yes, not just watching from a boat--we were in the water swimming with these mammoth creatures. The mother was an old mother, and was a very large humpback. Probably around 50 feet and between 40 and 50 tons. She spent most of her time hovering about 30 feet below the water, but would come up about every 10 minutes or so, then head back down. Her calf was between 15 and and 20 feet long. The calves weigh about a ton. This calf was a couple of months old and was very active. She swam up and down constantly. Breaching and spinning, and swimming upside down--and frequently came close to inspect us. At times, the mother and calf were within a couple of feet of us. The calf also spent a fair bit of time nursing.
At one point, things got a bit exhilirating as the mother got irritated by how far away the calf got, and perhaps that the calf was closely inspecting us. So momma took off towards us fairly quickly and did a swirling turning breach right next to us, while we were all scrambling to get out of the way. She gathered her calf and moved off about 50 meters. Slightly exciting. Its amazing just how massive humpback whales are.
We have some good video and pictures. One of these days we'll get around to putting up some new galleries of the Marquesas, the Tuamotus, The Society Islands, Suwarrow, and Am. Samoa and Tonga. And the whales will deserve a gallery of their own.