We operated lots of Whale Watch Cruises this past weekend, and saw a mixed bag of activities. We did have a couple of “Fluke” trips where we saw some spouts, but never got close enough to any whales on the surface for our Captains to be satisfied that we gave our guests the experience they were looking for…so we invited those guests to join us again on another Whale Watch for FREE.
On Sunday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise, we saw 6 different Humpbacks off shore of the Mauna Lani Hotel. We got to watch as two of these whales did 5 peduncle throws and several tail lobs. We also got the opportunity to deploy our hydrophone during this cruise. We heard a veritable symphony of very loud and clear sounds, so we know there are still a lot of Humpbacks along the Kohala Coast.
On our 10:00 Cruise, we came across a Mom/Baby pod early on in the cruise. We spent almost 45 minutes just watching them at the surface before heading out towards some breaches we could see. By the time we got to the area where the breachers were, they had stopped, but we did see a few more adult Humpbacks, and another Mom/Baby pod. We got to watch as a “wanna-be” escort headed towards Mom, but as we were due back in the harbor we had to leave before we could see what happened with this trio. On the way back into the harbor, we were pleasantly surprised by a very active group of Spinner Dolphins who apparently thought we were a great play-thing. We got to see lots of jumps and spins from these little cetaceans as they approached us to ride our bow and stern wakes!
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: It is very possible that Humpback Whales did not migrate to Hawaii prior to the “golden age of whaling” in the 1820’s. Not only have we not discovered fossilized remains of Humpbacks on the islands from before that time, we’ve never found petroglyphs of Humpbacks from before the 1820’s either. Also, there’s no word in the Hawaiian language for the Humpback whale (though there is a word for whale – Kohola). No commercial whaling occurred in Hawaii, though whalers did re-provision and spend the winters in Hawaii (especially in Lahaina). And…most interesting is the fact that no mention of humpback whales has been found in the log books of whaling ships anchored off Lahaina – and the whalers were paying attention to the presence of whales, since any whale taken meant MONEY. Perhaps the whaling taking place in the North Japan Sea at that time forced the Humpbacks to find new migratory destinations.