Our weekend started out with quite the show. On Friday’s 10:00 Whale Watch from Kawaihae, we found a pod of probably 200 very playful Spinner Dolphins just out of the harbor (or should we say, they found us). As we watched them play with the boat, we also saw spouts and splashes from lots of Humpbacks. During the two hours we were out, we saw more than 20 different Humpbacks including a Mom/Baby/Escort pod who hung around us for more than 40 minutes.
On Saturday’s 10:00 Whale Watch we spent the whole two hours basically surrounded by Humpbacks. We got to see a small competitive pod, a Mom/Baby pod, some pec slaps, lots of spouts, and lots of flukes. There were whales surfacing and spouting in every direction. This actually became a bit of a problem, since at one point we were all focused on the whales at our 7:00 side (we use the boat like a clock with the center of the bow being 12:00) when a whale breached on our 1:00 side…and the only person who saw the whole thing was Captain Kino! When we got a chance to deploy our hydrophone we heard some very loud and clear voices so though we thought we were seeing a lot of activity on the surface, there was definitely a lot going on that we couldn’t see.
By Sunday morning, the weather at Anaeho’omalu Bay had changed but our guests wanted to give whale watching a shot, and since it wasn’t unsafe, we went for it! As is often the case when the wind blows, the Humpbacks seem to wake up and we saw a lot of breaches within a couple hundred yards of us. All told we saw spouts and dorsal fins from more than 20 different whales…none of them were in pods larger than 3, and all of them were adults. Guests joining us on Sunday’s Alala 10:00 Cruise experienced similar weather. Despite the blustery conditions, a couple of whales found us, surfacing very close by our starboard bow, spouting, diving, and then surfacing off the port bow. We also saw several breaches in the distance.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Humpbacks produce sounds in frequencies ranging from 10 hz to 24 khz. A healthy young adult human can generally hear sounds in frequencies between the ranges of 20 hz to 20 khz (which means that we’re not hearing everything the whales are singing!).