On mornings like this one, the surface of the ocean is glassy, the winds have died down and the sun is still behind the West Maui Mountains but is, from this vantage point on Ka’anapali Beach, lighting up the island of Lana’i in such a way that every valley on the windward side is placed in high relief. On the horizon, an approaching storm front is gray and foreboding, but there’s a calm here at the ocean’s edge that betrays the oncoming weather. The smooth waters reveal what appears to be holes in the ocean surface where whale spume appears like steam vents. Just beyond the reef point, a mother humpback whale boosts her newborn calf out of the water, apparently teaching it how to breach. This is the sort of morning that calms my heart and makes me so very grateful to be here, now.
This photo was taken much later this morning, after the trade winds had picked up. I took it from a stand up paddle board, about 50 yards off shore. I was using a Canon Poweshot SD1000 Digital Elph in a water housing. The combination of swell and wind didn’t allow for much picture taking, but I got a good view of a pod of breaching whales and a very nice run-in with a very large turtle. 🙂