Humpback whales put on synchronized show off Hawaii

Humpback whales synchronised breaching
Humpback whales breaching at the same time | Image: Danny Sullivan/Caters News

Synchronised splashing – the rare sight of two humpback whales breaching at the same time

Hawaii residents were treated to a magnificent display thanks to two humpback whales. Maui photographer Don McLeish captured stunning photos of a pair humpback whales repeatedly breaching the water together in sync off the coast of the Pacific island last week.

Humpback whales synchronised breaching
Humpback whales synchronised breaching | Image: Danny Sullivan/Caters News

McLeish said that he was able to capture the breathtaking pictures thanks to a friend who had called him to tell him about the sighting.

“I got word from a friend who has a whale-watching business at the boat launch that they had some adult humpbacks mugging them and had another boat come in close so they could leave to come in and pick up the next group,” he said.

Humpback whales synchronised splashing back into the sea
Humpback whales synchronised breaching | Image: Danny Sullivan/Caters News

According to Ocean Odyssey, “mugging” is a term used by marine biologists to describe when whales choose to swim within close proximity of a boat.

“Mugging is when some whales come to your boat and stick around checking you out while you check them out, it is the ultimate encounter,” McLeish also explained.

Humpback whale breaching
Humpback whale breaching | Image: Danny Sullivan/Caters News

“With my friend, we headed out to the area and did see a couple of boats close to each other and as we got closer we could see whales swimming around and under the boats,” he continued. “Eventually the two whales both fluked and dove deep. The other boats left but we stayed in place hoping for an encounter when the whales returned to the surface.”

McLeish and his freind got lucky, as the whales decided to put on a show for their new friends.

Humpback whales synchronised splashing back into the sea
Humpback whales synchronised breaching | Image: Danny Sullivan/Caters News

“They ended up coming out of the water a number of times and got into synchronisation so that we were treated to some very special double breaches as they circled us,” the photographer said.

Humpback whales swimming together
Humpback whales swimming together | Image: Danny Sullivan/Caters News

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