Our year ended with a bang as guests aboard our Whale Watch Cruises got to see a LOT of whales. On the 8:00 Wake up with the Whales Cruise, we saw spouts multiple times from 15 different Humpbacks within about a mile of us . We also got to witness our first competitive pod of the season. 3 big males were chasing a female all around us for about 15 minutes (at least that’s what it looked like to us…there is a small possibility the pod was comprised of all males). If you can imagine what a motor boat looks like when it’s cruising at top speed into the wind with the bow just crashing into the waves…and then picture four 65,000 – 75,000 pound animals with “mating on the mind” doing the same thing, you’ll get the picture…crazy amounts of energy expenditure (and not just by the whales…we were getting pretty crazy ourselves just watching it all). The action continued all day, and on our 3:00 Sail with the Whales Cruise, we got to see several more whales. Though there wasn’t an organized chase going on, we did see peduncal throws, pectoral slaps, and some tail lobbing.
Mahalo and Happy New Year,
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: When we watch a surface active competitive pod of whales like what we saw today, we assume it is comprised of one female either leading or being chased by a group of males. It often appears that every male is competing with every other male for access to the female. Recently researchers have observed that male humpbacks may form coalitions, working together to corral the female so that one may have easier access to her.