Niue certainly delivered on its reputation for having whales visit during our stay. There was at least one family that came through the anchorage every morning and night. During the night, they would swim right through the moorings next to our boats. Somehow we manage to be asleep, watching a show, or on shore for a social every time they swam next to our boat. So, we never saw the night visits. One night we were told they were within a few feet of Tahina! Almost every morning between 6:30 and 7 AM you could see them withing a couple hundred meters of the moorings just hanging out – most likely in sleep mode. They would surface about every 12 minutes for a few breaths, and then submerge – sometimes showing their flukes. Sometimes we would see the young calf, but usually it was just the two larger ones.
It was exciting for watching (and taking pictures) each morning. Nearly all the boaters would be up watching. Sometimes we would put on snorkel gear and try to get closer. In my two attempts, the whales managed to move away before I could get close. Some of the boat crews managed to get in a position where the whales went right underneath them! The other treat was hearing their songs, and the loud burst of air when they blew. What magnificent creatures!
One of the most beautiful locations in Niue is Limu pools on the northwest side. Here is a panorama I photographed from the northwest rocks looking to the south. Click on the photo to see a larger version:
Limu pools – famous site in Niue
Below is another a photo album from Niue including lots of photos of the whales. It also includes more photos of the sights from Niue. If you visit the photo album at PicasaWeb, you can see the location of the photos on the map for geo-perspective – or just click here for a map of the photos. We visited more caves and reefs along the shore on the second day of our car rental. We found one of the few easy-to-reach beaches near the resort. And the best cave/reef location is Tuatu on the eastern side of Niue. It has some hidden beaches behind the rocks on either side of the cave. There are more photos of Limu pools in the album and pictures of Tahina in the anchorage. Check them out (click on full-screen for better quality size):
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