We had smooth seas for our Thursday morning Wake up with the Whales Cruise and we took guests out on both Seasmoke and Manu Iwa. Guests joining us on Seasmoke saw more than 10 different Humpbacks. Most of them were just surfacing, spouting, and diving (giving us some great fluke shots), but we also saw some pec slapping. When we deployed our hydrophone, we heard a lot of singing (so we know the male Humpbacks are here already). Guests on Manu Iwa saw two different competitive pods. The first one broke up just as we arrived. So we spent some time watching other whales surface, spout and dive, and listened to some loud singing. Then we encountered a school of yellow fin tuna on the surface. We have no idea why they were there (didn’t see anyone under them who might have scared them up). Towards the end of the cruise we saw another competitive pod charging around, but we had to return to the bay so we couldn’t spend too much time with them.
On our 10:00 Cruise on Alala, we saw spouts from two whales near the Mauna Kea, so we headed south. We arrived in the area and waited about 15 minutes before a lone humpback surfaced and spouted about 100 yards from us. After waiting another 10 minutes or so, two whales came up in the same area and spouted…and then we saw some breaching way out to sea. After about 3 breaches, we decided to head out to the area. The whale breached 4 more times, but by the time we got out there, the activity stopped. We did see a very small whale though…probably not a calf, but a yearling…and watched this little guy for awhile before we had to head back to the harbor.
On our Sail with the Whales Cruise, we found a competitive pod that broke up just as we arrived. We chose to sail parallel to one of the whales from this pod who was apparently still pretty excited, as he breached about 30 times (after the 10th breach, we all lost count) between 100 and 300 yards from us.
On our Whales and Cocktails at Sunset Cruise, besides all the spouting and fluke diving we saw, we got some great views of 4 different Humpbacks who all surfaced about 100 yards from us. When we lowered the hydrophone during this cruise we got to hear a veritable symphony
Have a wonderful weekend…I’ll send out a recap of our sightings on Monday.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: All whales, regardless of species, age, or gender make noises. Only Humpback whales sing an organized song…and only male Humpbacks sing. We used to believe that the males only “sing” when they are in the warmer waters where they mate. Now that we’re listening more closely, we have heard the males singing a bit in their colder feeding waters (mostly at the end of feeding season prior to the beginning of the migration). So, is the male Humpback singing a mating song? Researchers have observed that female whales will not approach a singing male, so if the males are singing to bring the females closer to them, it seems to be pretty ineffective.