What is it about whales? And screaming people. I had plenty of time to ponder this question on the sunset dinner cruise that left yesterday from Maui's Lahaina harbor.
As memorialized in my You Tube video, you can hear our fellow passengers (and me) getting super-excited when some whales appeared close to the Pacific Whale Foundation boat.
Elvis and the Beatles probably didn't get more "oohs" and "ahs" when they came on stage. Yes, there's something about whales.
My philosophical self likes this notion: whales are like God. Mysterious, powerful, unseen. Usually hidden beneath the surface, once in a while one reveals itself and Wow! – the crowd goes wild. Praise whale!
There was even some magical thinking going on with the captain, who you can hear me chatting with. I asked her how we could get some tricks out of the whales, since a whole lot of dramatic breaching wasn't going on.
She told me that in her sixteen years of experience, the best way to see whales is to turn your camera off.
Actually, I'd been wondering the same thing, having just filmed many minutes of open ocean, interspersed with a few whale sightings. (My video has been edited to show the best ones.) But I resisted the temptation to turn off my Flip Video.
And just a few seconds after the captain spoke, bingo, the whale breached big time. So much for magical thinking.
Aside from the whales, another exciting image on the video shows me sipping my very first Mai Tai. The expression on my face is partly staged, but mostly real – because it took me a while to realize that I was supposed to stir the drink up.
All the alcohol must have been sitting on the top, because at first it seemed like a killer Mai Tai (not that I'd know, really, since this was my first). Guess this is one of those things experienced drinkers learn on the job.
We also got a kick out of the wedding party, who you'll see sitting on the bow area in front of us. The bride wore a formal white dress on her Maui sunset dinner cruise. Cool. She certainly stood out among the shorts and t-shirt crowd.
This Pacific Whale Foundation cruise gets a thumbs up from us. It's vegetarian friendly, featuring pasta and a tofu stir fry for entrees, plus the usual veggie appetizers.
The music man was friendly and competent, though we could have done with fewer of his corny jokes during the whale sightings. Some silence might have been more appropriate when the divinities of the deep paid us a visit.