On Saturday, February 28, 2015, College Preparatory Professor Domingo took 19 HTIC students and me to participate in a whale watching / whale counting volunteer activity on the Makapuu Lighthouse trail. It was part of the whale count held held each year by the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuaries (NOAA).
At first I was hesitant about going because we had to meet early in the morning. Also, I am not a fan of hiking unknown areas. Nevertheless, I went, and I am so thankful I did so. The day was beautiful with clear skies and a light rain, although it was really windy. When we reached our spot halfway up the Makapuu trail, I felt like I was back in my childhood home on Kauai. There we have an amazing view of the ocean, and during whale season, we often sit and watch for whales. At Makapuu, however, it was better. We were so close to the ocean and could see many sprays from the blowholes of both mothers and calves when they surfaced. There were some awesome breaches, pectoral slaps, tail slaps, and all the other fun things that whales do to let us know they're out there.
I worked together with Prof. Domingo to count the whales, and our tally of the different ways to count the whales added up to between 80-90 whales in the four hours we were out there. This experience re-sparked my passion to take time to sit down, relax, and enjoy whale watching here in the Islands.