We had a great time out on the water on Monday. On our Wake up with the Whales Cruise, we saw at least 16 different Humpbacks, and all of them were in pods of two. We watched one whale slap his huge pectoral flipper on the water for close to 4 minutes, and saw another one tail lobbing so long we thought he’d wear out his flukes. When we deployed the hydrophone, the songs we heard were really loud and clear.
We started our Snorkel and Whale Watch Adventure Cruise with about 30 minutes of whale watching. Besides seeing lots of spouts, and a competitive pod of two rolling around together on the surface, we were all surprised when a whale we didn’t know was there breached right in front of us…just about 75 yards away.
On our 10:00 Whale Watch Cruise on Alala, we saw spouts from more than 18 different Humpbacks. Highlights from this cruise included a couple of breaches (which not everyone got to see), some pec slapping, a couple of spy hops, and some very loud singing through our hydrophone. We also saw a behavior I’ve personally never witnessed. Towards the end of the cruise, after watching a pod of two whales swim on the surface maybe 25 yards from us and right across our bow, and then 1/2 way down our port hull, they dove. We watched them swim right under us, and come up next to us on our starboard side. Then we watched them twist around each other…at one point, one swam with just half his huge fluke above water (kind of looked like a humongous shark)…and then the part I’ve never seen before…Imagine the whales perpendicular to each other, with one floating so her entire dorsal (top) side was above the surface from just forward of her blow holes, to just before her flukes. Then imagine the other whale lifting his head out of the water, and literally resting his chin (if he had a chin) on the back of the other whale. His huge and relaxed throat bulged out, and we could see his ventral pleats from the top side. After a couple of seconds of resting, they both twisted again and sounded. Not sure what that was all about, but it sure was great to see the interaction (and of course, I didn’t get a photo). We also encountered a big pod of Spinner Dolphins and got to see them interact with our boat…and with a Humpback!
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: When we say we heard LOUD singing, just how loud do we mean? Well, Humpback whales have been recorded producing sounds at around 185 decibels. Because the decibel scales use different references for sounds underwater than through the air, that’s the equivalent of about 123 decibels for us on the surface…which is as loud as the amplified music at a rock concert when you’re standing directly in front of a tower of speakers.