Those strong trade winds we’ve been experiencing for the past few days really didn’t abate at all on Wednesday night, so we operated both of our Thursday morning Whale Watch Cruises from Kawaihae Harbor (taking advantage of the lee provided by the Kohala mountains).
Guests on our Wake up With the Whales Cruise saw two spouts just as we were exiting the harbor. As we approached the whales, they sounded, giving us some great views of their flukes — one of the whales had some very distinctive white patches on each side…we’ll surely recognize him if/when we see him again. We also saw spouts and flukes from at least 6 other Humpbacks including one pod we were pretty sure was Mom and her baby.
Guests on the 10:00 Cruise were treated to a pod of Spinner Dolphins who found us shortly after we left the harbor. This pod played with our boat for more than 20 minutes. While they were playing, we saw the splash from a big breach just south of us, so we went to investigate. We watched that whale breach one more time, and then continued on to watch a different pod of three whales. Since these whales were heading into the strong winds, we turned back…and just as we were about to enter the harbor, a fully grown Humpback surfaced and spouted very close to us. Captain Will stopped the boat, and we watched as the whale lifted his big flukes (and when we say “big”, we mean “big”…they looked like they measured 15 feet across) and sounded..giving us a great view of his all black flukes as a grand finale to our cruise.
Have a wonderful weekend…I’ll send out a recap of what we saw on our cruises on Monday!
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: We know Humpbacks are big animals, but it’s not until we have a CLOSE ENCOUNTER that we really appreciate how big they are. But Humpbacks are only the 5th largest of the great whales — Blue whales, Finbacks, Grays, and Right Whales (including Bowheads) are all longer (on average)– and if you want to count the toothed whales in the list, male Sperm Whales grow longer too.