Our Wake up with the Whales Cruise on Tuesday started off pretty quietly. For the first hour or so of the cruise, we watched 5 different whales as they surfaced, spouted, and then sounded for 12 – 15 minute dives. But patience paid off for us when we saw a lot of splashing. We went over to investigate and found a competitive pod of 5 or 6 Humpbacks (it was really impossible to count), including a very small calf. The males were busily chasing Mom around on the surface, head lunging, trumpeting, pec slapping and peduncle throwing. The baby was really affected by the excitement and breached several times…we even saw some breaches from a few of the adults.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: A Humpback Whale doesn’t reach sexual maturity till it’s about 35 feet long (age 5 or 6 for females, and a little bit later for males). Researchers have observed that most Humpbacks in the North Pacific don’t begin calving successfully till they’re at least 10 years old – the mean average is 11.8 years. In the North Atlantic, Humpbacks generally give birth for the first time between ages 5 and 7, reaching sexual maturity earlier too.