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A Whale of a Time!

February 25, 2012

This morning, 26 volunteers gathered at Pu`ukohola Heiau National Historic Site on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island for the NOAA Ocean Count for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback whale National Marine Sanctuary. One of those volunteers, Greg Rideout, shared a video of a close encounter he had with humpback whales last week. While Greg was kayaking just offshore from Kawaihae, three whales came right up to his kayak. Although it was an amazing experience, Greg said that it was quite scary having such huge creatures that close! As a NOAA Ocean Count volunteer, Greg knows that humpback whales are endangered creatures and that it is illegal to knowingly approach closer than 100 yards to them. As you see however, it is hard to out paddle a whale! He said that when the whale passed, the motion of one of the whale’s tail actually propelled his kayak forward! Mahalo to Greg for sharing this video…and be sure to check out the photos from this morning below! Aloha

Volunteers scan the ocean earlier this morning during the February Ocean Count at Pu`ukohola Heiau National Historic Site.

Panoramic view from Pu`ukohola...the Hill of the Whale at Kawaihae.

We had a beautiful morning for counting whales today! Join us on the last day of March for this year's final Ocean Count!


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