It is 366 days that will make up 2020…the first leap year of the decade!
February, being the shortest month, is the month to which we see the added day when we experience a leap year, so we shall see February 29 this year.
A year that is not a leap year is called a common year, with 365 days, and February that ends with a 28th day.
February, whether it be a leap year or common year, sees Valentines Day marked annually on February 14.
Tracing its history and tradition to an ancient Roman festival, the feast day of Saint Valentine celebrating love and affection. What does leap year mean for unmarried couples? Ladies, this is your year to get down on one knee, should you be so inclined! A twist in the usual protocol or practice of getting engaged, this is viewed as your year of opportunity!
All in all, February can prove to be a very romantic and busy season in Maui. It is peak time for whale activity with the humpback whale population enjoying the warmer water before the long return to Alaska. A Pacific Whale Foundation Naturalist once told me that Alaska is where the whales go to feed, it is their kitchen, so to speak, with Hawaii is where mating and birthing occurs.
Officially, whale season begins December 15 and runs through May 15. It is a season all its own, in Maui, we locals simply call this time of year “whale season”. Between May 16 through December 14 it is not “whale season”.
Jet skis and parasailing are activities that are permitted in Hawaiian waters from May 16 to December 14, officially outside of whale season so as not to encounter any whales and cause injury in their path respecting the sanctuary that is their seasonal Maui home, clear of the breaching (leaping!) and frolicking of these playful mammals.
Whale sightings may come as early as September however, and vary from year to year as to when we begin seeing the early arrivals.
On January 26th across the islands 550 volunteers were strategically positioned throughout the island chain in Maui, Kauai, Oahu and the Big Island in 53 sites to participate in the first of 3 coordinated whale counts this season. They tallied the highest count of 279 whales in a scheduled 15 minute period between 8:30-8:45am as part of a joint effort between the Pacific Whale Foundation and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.
On a final note, what does the extra day in a leap year mean in the world of Maui real estate? If you are closing on a property purchase remember to count February 29 as a day in your transaction calendar.