Led by stand-up paddler and yoga instructor Charlotte Piho, the group of women were left amazed at the sighting, which happened during an open ocean paddle from Trader Jacks to Avana Passage. Piho, who was conducting stand up paddle yoga retreats with the group from Australia, says she has sighted whales in the Cook Islands’ waters before but they have never been as close as they were on the recent experience.
“We were blessed to see the whales on our journey. We lost count. At one stage, we saw a family of three,” Piho says.
“Having seen them on Saturday night while doing yoga on the beach by Club Raro…there is nothing more uplifting to the soul then being on the ocean with them.”
Piho, whose first job in the Cook Islands was as a deckhand on a whale-watching sailboat, says the experience was the highlight of their week-long retreat.
“I saw them all the time but never like this. You can see they are so happy and at peace here. The water clarity is the best I've seen, more superior than the Maldives and Great Barrier Reef.
“So blessed to call this island home. So amazing.”