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Each winter, humpback whales come to the warm waters off the coast of Hawaii to breed, birth, and nurture their calves. At one time, perhaps only a thousand thrived, but recent conservation efforts have resulted in a population boom. Now more than twenty thousand whales are thought to take the long journey down from their Alaskan feeding waters to enjoy the Hawaiian channels. There is not really any food for the adult whales in the crystal clear blue waters, so their time in Hawaii is a bit like whale Ramadan.They are literally everywhere this time of year, especially off the coast of Maui. If you want a relatively close look, a boat is best, but you can see them easily from shore. I was practicing yoga on the beach and a few friendly humpbacks came over and waved good morning.With whale watching comes whale tales. Folks just LOVE to talk about their super-close whale encounters. Some of those stories are true, but most are wildly exaggerated. I personally don’t need to ride a whale to feel as if I’ve had the experience. Maintain a respectful distance.
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