Guests joining us on Wednesday’s 11:30 Private Whale Watch Cruise got to see something very interesting…but we’re not exactly sure what it was! We spent a considerable amount of time watching two whales interacting a lot at the surface. It’s actually easier to describe what they weren’t doing than what they were doing…While we didn’t really see them make contact with each other, they were doing quite a bit of posturing and then taking shallow dives (we know they were shallow, because we didn’t see their flukes) for about 5 minutes before surfacing together again. We really wondered what was going on under the surface of the water too. Were they a male and a female interacting, or two males getting to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses? (And aren’t we guessing they were two females? See today’s Fact of the Day below for the answer.)
Later in the cruise, we also got to see 9 pec slaps and a couple of head lunge (possibly from the same two whales we had been watching in the beginning of the cruise). In total, we saw about 15 different Humpbacks, and when we dropped the hydrophone, we heard from many more.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Researchers have observed that female Humpbacks don’t associate with each other at all while they’re in Hawaii. This is especially interesting in light of the fact that the females do associate with each other in Alaska — they’ll even feed cooperatively there. Since the females come here just to mate (and calve), we can postulate that female-female interaction must somehow get in the way of successful mating. Maybe groups of females would attract too many competitive males for safe mating to occur….what do you think?