Our 10:00 Whale Watch from Kawaihae on Monday started out with sightings of our favorite littlest cetaceans, the Spinner Dolphins. A pod of about 50 joined us right outside of the harbor for some spins, leaps, and head-over-tail somersaults After watching the dolphins play for awhile, we decided to head north towards Red Hill, where we had seen some spouts. When we got there, the whales were underwater, so we decided to stop and deploy the hydrophone. We could hardly believe our ears — it sounded as if the whales were literally singing directly into the microphone. We sat for awhile and listened, and then got to see a couple of very big whales surface and spout. We kind of thought that was it for these humpbacks, but they surprised us all by breaching…twice! On the way back to the harbor, we saw 4 more adult Humpbacks (they were each in pods of two).
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: The haunting song of the Humpback has actually traveled beyond our oceans. In 1977, NASA launched two Voyager space crafts. Aboard each was a golden record with a collection of sights, sounds and greetings from Earth in 54 different human languages. These records also include greetings from Humpback whales! And that was just the first time the whales’ song traveled beyond our planet…On Earth Day (4/22) in 2005, a private organization called Deep Space Network broadcast a live feed from a hydrophone off the coast of Maui of the Humpbacks singing. They used a five meter parabolic dish antenna and broadcast the sounds about 18 trillion miles into deep space. So far, we’ve yet to receive a reply.