Both Manu Iwa and Seasmoke left the bay at 8:00 carrying guests to take a look at the Humpbacks on Tuesday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise. Guests on each boat had similar experiences, seeing somewhere around 15 different Humpbacks. We saw lots of “blowing and going” as the whales surfaced, spouted a few times and then sounded. Towards the end of the cruise, we all got to see some pec slapping from a whale signaling something to someone a small distance away from us.
Due to the strong winds in Kawaihae, we also operated our 10:00 Cruise from Anaeho’omalu Bay. Guests on this cruise saw 10 different Humpbacks. A pod of two cruised about 100 yards from us on the surface for about 10 minutes, so we all got some great views of these whales. We also saw 7 breaches (all about 300 yards away). We got a chance to deploy our hydrophone on this cruise, and though the singers were pretty far away, when we turned up the volume, we heard some very interesting and distinct sounds.
By the time our Sail with the Whales Cruise departed, the winds had moved down the coastline, so the ocean was pretty choppy. Despite the conditions, we all got to see a pod of two Humpbacks on 3 separate occasions surface about 100 yards from us. We got good views of them…and some great fluke shots as they sounded. We also saw a few spouts from other whales inside of us as we sailed back to the bay.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Researchers are not sure how Humpbacks find their way from Alaska to Hawaii each winter…especially since Hawaii is the most isolated land mass in the world. Since small particles of a form of iron called “magnetite” have been found in Humpbacks’ brains, some researchers theorize that the magnetite acts like an actual magnet, helping the Humpbacks to feel the magnetic pull of the earth, keeping them on track. Other researchers disagree, claiming that the Humpbacks swim in such straight lines when they migrate that they must be orienting themselves with a combination of methods, including the use of celestial markers like the position of the sun during the day, and the stars at night.