Yesterday, we found Hina Hina again. I'm happy to report that Hina Hina is doing extremely well, just as playful and energetic as when we first found the little whale.
We spotted the baby and mom in an area with relatively poor visibility, so although we swam with the pair, I didn't take any underwater photos, since they would have come out green and murky.
Hina Hina was kind enough to treat us to a lot of surface play, so we spent much of the time taking photos of baby tail slaps, baby breaches and general baby nonsense.
Hina Hina has a habit of sitting on mom's head and rolling around, which no doubt is fun for Hina Hina, but mom's patience seems to wear thin at times...she moves off and makes Hina Hina swim alongside, working hard to keep pace.
We still have no confirmed sightings of other babies though. I've heard two reports from relatively credible people, but no photos or video. It's easy, especially for over-eager tourists, to misidentify whales, so I don't trust any stories unless I see a photo or video.
For example, I hear tales all the time from people claiming to have seen humpbacks giving birth, mating, etc. In fact, there's a story going around town now that someone has just filmed a humpback giving birth. Uhuh. Call me a cynic, but I'll believe it when I see it. [Note: This story later proved to be a hoax. Surprise, surprise]
I am a bit concerned with the apparent dearth of babies though. Perhaps they're elsewhere, or perhaps the moms are late giving birth this season. Hopefully I'll gain more insight as the days go by.
Also, I haven't seen any whales with all-white pectoral fins...a strong contrast to the high numbers I saw last year. It certainly seems as if humpbacks vary the locations they visit each year.