We ran 4 Whale Watch Cruises and and a Snorkel Cruise on Wednesday — so there’s really too much to report. On each cruise we saw spouts from a dozen and a half whales…maybe more, We saw lots of breaching, lots of tail lobs, many fluke dives, and even some pec slaps. Oh, and on our 8:00 Wake up with the Whales Cruise, we had our first “mugging”. Two big Humpbacks would not leave us alone — they stayed under our idling boat for just over 10 minutes. As they swum from port to starboard, and bow to stern, all of us aboard walked (quickly) from port to starboard and bow to stern. We’re never really sure how much the whales can see of what’s happening on the decks above them, but it sure seemed like they were playing with us (let’s see if we can get all the humans over on this side…ok, let’s see if they’ll go to the other side….).
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Yesterday, I mentioned that in 1966, the experts estimated the population of Humpbacks in the North Pacific to be only about 1400, and promised I’d give you a more current estimate today. Well, according to research results released in 2008 by SPLASH (Structure of Populations, Levels of Abundance and Status of Humpback Whales in the North Pacific – a research project involving more than 400 researchers in 10 countries) there are approximately 18,000 – 20,000 Humpbacks living in the North Pacific, with the population wintering in Hawaii seeing a 5.5% – 6% annual rate of increase since the early 1990′s.