Like Niue, Tonga is favored by the humpback whales as a combination bordello/nursery for the production and raising of young until they get enough blubber to survive the cold of Antarctica. Unlike Niue, Tonga is one of about 3 places in the world where you can actually get in the water and swim with whales. Yes, swim. With whales. How close you ask? Well check out this video of a baby whale breeching 30 yards away from the swimmers!
So, you know, pretty freaking close.
As you might guess, an entire industry has grown up around this and you can buy whale swimming packages. We did one of these and the experience was amazing. We regret to report that our whale, while close enough for us to see and most assuredly close enough to get us to realize how terribly, ridiculously small humans (aka us) are in comparison with the dwellers of the deep (it’s fin was bigger than Greg…it’s freaking FIN probably outweighed him…HUGE!!!.) The whale did not decide to get close enough to make good YouTube video. Which is why we grabbed videos from our friends’ trip.
The day after our whale swim our old friends on FLY AWEIGH, SERENITY and PAIKEA MIST went out and got what the local guide said was probably the best whale swim of his life. They came across and mother and baby humpback whale. Mom was trying to take a nap and junior was well, being a kid. Mom needed a babysitter quick, and lo and behold! Here come some of those strange swimming monkey-like animals that junior finds ever so interesting. Perfect! So mom foists the kid off on our friends and they get what was easily the sweetest baby-sitting gig ever:
It should be noted that “junior” was about the size of a small school bus.
Envious? Yeah, so were we 😉
For more the humpbacks of the South Pacific, click on “Whale sex”
About the authors
Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures. If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, getting pooped on by seagulls, opening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out at www.CoastGuardCouple.com!