Image of the Week – Mothers Intuition

by Douglas Hoffman on August 11, 2021

Mother Knows Best

A female Humpback Whale has a hard life. She swims thousands of miles from the feeding grounds to mate or give birth, only to travel back to the feeding grounds. This is an arduous trip faced with many dangers ranging from ships, Orca, entanglement, and global waring. Giving birth and feeding her calf everyday taps the mothers resources and by the time she returns to the feeding grounds has lost as much as half her body weight.

Females are very smart and sensitive and the one in this portrait recognized that I was in danger and tried to communicate with me. Sadly I dont speak whale but after explaining the incident to Dr. Erich Hoyt and other whale experts, it seems the female was trying to tell I was in grave danger. It was not a shark, but my appendix. I had been in the water with the mother and calf for over an hour.

I dont recall any sudden pain incident but during the swim I felt something wrong. I assumed it was like bad food and I would be having diarrhea or something like that. The whale sensed it was more serious and positioned herself very close to me. After a few moments she backed off a bit as to look me in the eye. We maintained contact for what seemed a long time but was likely just a few seconds, and she and baby floated off a bit and then slowly started swimming away. When I went to the boat, I needed help getting in.

I stayed in bed for two days, till a Dr was available. Then the news came that my appendix had ruptured and was poisoning my body. I needed urgent surgery. The trouble was I was in tone and a surgeon was not available. So, DAN ( Divers Alert Network), sent a jet. Within 12 hours of the call, the jet landed, and took me to New Zealand for Surgery. It took two weeks to heal enough to travel back to Hawaii.

Check out my online gallery for more whale portraits as well as stunning sunsets, and beach scenes.