Wednesday was sure a great day for Whale Watching on the Kohala Coast! On our 8:00 Wake up with the Whales Cruise, we saw a dozen different Humpbacks, including a pod of two who breached 4 times and head lunged twice. We also got a close encounter when another pod of two decided to swim right down our starboard side, right below the surface, apparently checking us out.
On our 10:00 Cruise on Alala, we saw 8 different Humpbacks. We had close encounters with a solo whale who surfaced right alongside twice, giving us a great look at him while he looked at us. Best of all though, we got to see a breach just 50 yards from our idling boat.
On the way to our snorkel site during our Snorkel and Whale Watch Adventure Cruise, we found a competitive pod of 4 big (mature) Humpbacks. As usual with a competitive pod, it was difficult to predict their path. Besides watching them charge around us, we got to see several jaw claps and throat inflations (a “throat inflation” is just what you’d think it is…a whale gulping water to make himself look bigger) from one of the whales in the middle of the pod…and watched them shove each other around several times at the surface. The whale in the lead (the female, we’re guessing) even brought them all right across our bow at one point before they charged off to the south.
Finally, on our Whales and Cocktails at Sunset Cruise, we were surprised by a couple of Humpbacks who surfaced right next to us. We followed them all the way to Puako, where we found two more humpbacks who surfaced every minute or so for the next 25 minutes. We also some pec slapping and a breach out to sea.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Those lines we see under the Humpback’s mouth are actually pleats that allow for the expansion of his mouth when he feeds. This expansion, combined with his ability to flex his jaws, allows him to hold up to 15,000 gallons of sea water in his mouth at one time — that’s the equivalent of 160,000 cans of Diet Pepsi (or Budweiser) in every gulp — of course, he doesn’t swallow the water he gulps…just the unlucky fish that had been swimming in it.