There’s a reason why this was on Hawaii News Now at 5 last night.
This last weekend, a group of kayakers with Maui Kayak Adventures got legitimately FREAKED-OUT by a curious humpback whale. Departing from Makena in south Maui, these nature-lovers paddled out with a guide to enjoy the beauty of Maui from the water, get a little exercise, and do some snorkeling. What they didn’t expect was a playful juvenile humpback following them and forcing them to stop completely (this is called being “mugged”).
The surprised guests got to experience some whale behavior rarely witnessed directly next to a kayak:
- Spy Hop – This is when a whale moves its body vertically and pokes just it’s head out of the water so that it can use its exposed eyes to assess the area around them.
- Pec Slap – This is sort of like if you laid along the surface of the water and slapped your arm.
- Breach – No, they didn’t breach next to the kayak! Haha! Humpbacks seem to be well-aware of their surroundings and wouldn’t put themselves or others in harms way. That being said:
It’s important to note that you should never approach a humpback whale this closely. It’s illegal and could be dangerous. In this instance, the guests we’re treated with the close encounter by surprise. If a whale comes to you, stay calm, stop moving and enjoy being mugged!
Photos and tour by Matt Robson. Thank you for sharing these with us! Such a special experience.
The video above is courtesy of Curtis Geary.