During the winter, humpback whales travel from the north to stay in the sea around the Amami area and most of them are mums who come here to give birth or who have very young calves. It is not impossible to see them from land but if anyone who would like to have a closer look at them, taking one of the whale-watching boat trips is the best way.
A storm was expected in the afternoon so we took a boat in the morning. It was quite choppy even then.
A while after we left the harbour, the very first one was spotted!
I know it sounds silly but even only the bits which were on the surface of the water looked enormous!
It was actually a mother and a calf.
The boat staff told me that there were 2 adults and 1 young one, and that they thought that one adult is the mum and the other is a male, which has been following her expecting to become her mate as the calf looked large enough to wean soon.
Anyway, during the 3-hour boat trip, we were able to see the whales very closely for 2 hours or so. It was very exciting but at the same time it was an occasion to make me think about the eco-tourism.
The boat staff were all nice, but there was no explanation whatsoever about the reasons why the whales winter here or the ecology or anything. I am curious and interested in that kind of thing so I asked questions, then they gave me answers personally and kindly. I wished they had done it to everyone on board so that people have an opportunity to learn something new.
That is all from our Amami trip in March 2018✋