I just got back from spending 10 days on beautiful Maui with 9 other family members! We rented a house on the beach and it was perfect. Perfect to the point that you could see whales jumping out of the water and splashing around in the distance from our patio.
My aunt, being the animal lover that she is, wanted to experience a closer look at all these whales. So then she’s staring at me saying “Let’s go whale watching! Let’s go whale watching!” Guess what? I HATE BOATS! Not because I get a little seasick, that’s manageable. I’m just afraid every boat will tip over and sink. Seems a little ridiculous, I know, but that’s just where my mind goes. Anyway, she convinced me to go.
That morning I had beer for breakfast to try and calm my nerves while I sat there nervously biting my nails. My uncle had talked to the whale watching people earlier that morning because the boat we were supposed to go out on broke down and they wanted to “upgrade” us to a 10 person raft. Get real up close and personal. He told me this and I nearly had a break down. Thankfully, he asked them just to book us on the next “double decker boat”, as I call them.
So there we are…Aunt, Uncle, cousin and me all on a whale watching boat. I’m holding on for dear life, convinced with every wave we’re going to tip over. I feel my hands shaking as I tip back a Blue Hawaiian. We finally get out into the middle of the water and stop. It’s a little calmer now, and I start to forget about how scared I am as a whale surfaces. Then another. Then another! It’s mating season around Hawaii and there are whales everywhere!
The coolest and scariest moment was when we saw a baby whale with his MASSIVE mother, and her “escort” as they called him. The baby was frolicking around at the surface a lot, where mom and boyfriend we a little less frequent. Once of the crew members was teaching us about baby whales when he says “Oh, it seems the mother whale is right underneath us.” Well insert my panicked face here!!
Immediately I think this massive mother of a whale is going to surface right into us, lifting the entire boat out of the water and tipping us over. Then we all drown, or get eaten by ocean creatures. That is my exact thought process. But obviously that didn’t happen. She surfaced again a ways out, not even creating a wave big enough to rock the boat.
But here’s what I concluded in the end. I faced my fear and had a really cool experience. Not something everyone will get to see in their life. I also supported the Pacific Whale Foundation…a non-profit organization to help save the whales. Did I conquer my fear? Oh heck no. You’ll have to battle with me again if you want to get me on a boat. But I faced my fear, and it was worth it.
Here’s the tale of the baby whale!