I quickly position the boat to a west course to to take advantage of the sun’s morning angle. I remember the sun bolts momentarily dancing and reflecting off the manta’s back—seemingly an out-of-this-world giant angel, electrically charged, moving slowly with graceful gentle rhythm. All the elements here for great shots, and we’re almost in good photo range—key word: almost—when Mr. Manta Ray changes the plan, deciding to abruptly dive into the abyssal darkness, never to be seen again. Well you cannot win them all, but the trying is sure awesome. You have to appreciate those rare moments.
10:00 am and its time to explore the coastline as we head south down the westside of Ni’hau. About halfway along, we stumble upon a mom and baby humpback whale. Cutting the engines, we excitedly wait, like kids waiting for Christmas morning. Ten minutes later I see there are two blows going out in the distance—one big puff, one small puff. They’re not in the mood to socialize.
Not expecting any more humpbacks, we decide to move to the next windex blue bay, to rest, quench our thirst and have our lunch. Two monk seals snoozing on the deserted beach are our lunch time entertainment.
My lunchtime thoughts are on what Hawaii was like before any man had set foot here. Then come selfish thoughts of never sharing this place with the world. Man would surely bring ruin, as is ever so evident by the plastic net trash washed up next to the seals. But hopefully, the Ni’ihau channel and the distance to this place may be protection enough.