Wednesday was a great day for whale watching on the Kohala Coast. Guests on our Wake up with the Whales Cruise from Kawaihae saw so much surface activity that it’s kind of difficult to summarize (our favorite dilemma). Over the two hour cruise, we saw 12 – 14 different whales. One sub-adult breached too many times to count, and other whales in the area seemed to respond. In all, we saw more than 30 breaches (within 200-400 yards of us). We also saw multiple peduncle throws, pec slaps and tail lobs…unbelievable. We got a chance to deploy our hydrophone during this cruise, and while the singers weren’t all that close to us, we definitely heard a LOT of singing.
After we dropped the guests off from this cruise, we went right back out again — this time on a Snorkel Cruise. On the way to our Snorkel Site, we watch two whales pec slapping and tail lobbing. We tore ourselves away from that action so that we could spend some time snorkeling, and after we tied up to our mooring, two whales cruised right by us! And if that wasn’t exciting enough, once we all got in the water, a pod of spinner dolphins cruised right through our site WHILE we were snorkeling. They got a great look at all of us while we got a great look at them…and on the way back to the harbor, the Humpbacks made another appearance. We got to see two full breaches and lots of pec slapping.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Humpback Whales and Spinner Dolphins are actually related — they’re both classified under the scientific order “Cetacean” (derived from the Greek word, “ketos” which translates to “Monster”).. But they’re in different sub-orders. Humpbacks are baleen whales, classified in the sub-order called “Mysticete”. Spinner Dolphins are toothed whales, classified in the sub-order “Odontocete.