Our week began with sightings of our favorite little cetaceans, the Spinner Dolphins. We saw them as we were leaving the bay on our Wake up with the Whales Cruise. We also saw 2 Humpbacks several times; surfacing, spouting and lifting their big flukes as they sounded. About midway through the charter, they surprised us when they surfaced close by. To top it off, the Spinners were waiting near the mouth of the bay for our return and gave us quite the send-off as we ended our charter.
On our 10:00 Cruise from Kawaihae, Captain Kino saw some spouts about 3 miles north of the harbor. It took us about 40 minutes to get to those whales, but once we did, we realized that they were actually heading south towards us. We paralleled them for over an hour which apparently was interesting to at least one of the two. This whale actually decided to do a “swim-by” right down our port rails — he never surfaced, but he was so close to us, and so close to the surface that we all got a great look at him. After he checked us out, he turned around again, and continued heading south. Just before we got back to the harbor, one of the whales surprised us all by breaching just about 100 yards off our starboard stern. Of course we were all looking ahead at that point and missed the breach, but we didn’t miss the splash as all 70,000 lbs of him landed just a football field away from us!
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Where do the Humpbacks go when they migrate away from Hawaii? Most of them appear to migrate directly north, to feeding grounds off of northern British Columbia and southeastern Alaska waters. But they can migrate to just about any location round the Pacific Rim — one humpback satellite-tagged in Hawaii spent the summer in Russian waters.