Sunday afternoon was perfect for whale watching. The sea was winter-calm, deep blue. Any signs of white against the blue were almost definitely the flurry of a whale. We sat at a distance from the main beach - crowded, cramped - where we would only feel like intruders on other people's vacations. The clatter of the crowd was muffled before a buttery sea breeze, and flowed together with the rhythm of the ocean breaking on the rocks beneath us. A warm sun shared its warmth without pain, and the afternoon sank away as we watched the whales spouting off the coast.
The whales are humpbacks from the northern seas. They travel here every winter to give birth to their young in the shallow warm waters of the Hawaiian islands. And we can only watch from the shore or from a boat, catching a glimpse now and then of a fin, a tail - only a fraction of these massive creatures.
Once in a while, one of the whales will breach - fling itself headlong out of the sea toward the sky. For a moment, it is almost completely in the air where it cannot breathe, then the humpback comes crashing back down to to the water with a cannonball tidal-wave. You are blessed to be a witness to such a feat, much more to catch a rare shot with a camera.