At first the white caps in the surf lure you into believing you see the curve of the massive sea creature flipping backward into the breach position before disappearing underwater. But it’s just a wave, you’re told by a native islander. “See that water spout on the horizon? That’s one. There’s another because they travel in pods this time of year. The species swim all the way from the icy waters of Alaska to mate, breed, and give birth in these warm cerulean waters. The males actually fight over a female until she chooses her mate. Then they become inseparable.” I learned to visually scan the open waters back and forth for signs of activity. I dared not glance away and miss something worth witnessing. The humpback whales did not disappoint. For an hour and a half, they frolicked near the surface as if performing for a group of tourists at Sea World. I saw an occasional breached back flip, storybook mermaid tail waves, and several fountain-like water spouts. It was as though the whales communicated in a sign language all their own. I learned a lot that day on the cliff. My new island friends, Lexi and Randall, appreciate the hypnotic lure and ancient history of this magical island called Kauai. Thanks to them and the stories they shared, I can appreciate it a little more as well.