The star of this year's humpback whale season in Vava'u so far is definitely this little female calf, which we named Ikumi. She's the fifth calf we ID-ed this season, and as of today, we've seen her seven times, starting on 17 August.
That's a record. Prior to this, the most encounters we've recorded with a single calf is four times.
We've literally watched this calf grow something on the order of 500kg over the past 10 days, and we've seen her develop from a shy little baby to a healthy, energetic young girl.
Today, I played "baby whale at the surface" by imitating Ikumi's twists and twirls, as well as hanging upside down with her while her mom waited below. Ikumi absolutely loved it, and treated us to a spectacular show!
Ikumi put on quite a show today.