We took two boats out for our Wednesday Wake up with the Whales Cruise. Manu Iwa left the bay first, and found a pod of two whales just outside of the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Seasmoke was close behind, and guests on both boats got to see these whales lift their big flukes for a sounding dive. Captain Adam took Manu Iwa north, towards some other spouts they were seeing — and guests got to watch these whales dive also. Captain Shane took Seasmoke out to sea, where we found a pod of 3 whales. One of the three was clearly smaller, and she (?) appeared to be the object of interest of the two larger whales who were following her closely. We got to see 4 peduncle throws from one of the large whales (it looked like he was landing on the other large whale). We also got to see the smaller whale lift her big pectoral flipper (her “arm”) multiple times, slapping it on the surface of the water towards the pursuing whales. Two of our younger guests (ages 4 and 6) made a point of telling me that they had named the smaller whale “Emma”, and one of the larger whales “Dash”, and another of our young guests chimed in telling me the third whale in the pod was “Josh”. We watched Emma, Dash and Josh for more than 45 minutes as they chased across the surface. Meanwhile, guests on Manu Iwa saw two more pods of two whales, and were surprised by a whale who decided to surface right behind the boat!
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Starting out as a way to pass time between whale sightings and hunts on the whaling ships in the mid-18th century, “scrimshawing” (or the art of carving intricate designs on to whale teeth, bones and baleen) survived until the ban on commercial whaling went into effect. The etched designs were originally produced by sailors using sailing needles, and were colored with candle soot and tobacco juice to bring the designs into view. Today, hobbyists still create scrimshaw — but they use bones and tusks from non-endangered and non-protected animal species like camels, buffalo, and even warthogs.