We had quite the weekend of winter weather. Between the high surf on Friday and the high winds on Saturday and Sunday, a lot of our cruises didn’t go out…but here are some highlights from a few of the trips that we did operate.
On Friday’s 10:00 Whale Watch from Kawaihae, though we saw four or five different humpbacks, we spent most of our time watching a lone sub-adult. This whale was on 12 – 14 minute dive cycles, but we were patient, and every time he surfaced, he was a little closer to us! Eventually we got to see those beautiful turquoise reflections off the white parts of his pectoral flippers as he swam just below the surface. We also got to deploy the hydrophone and heard some LOUD singing.
On Saturday’s 10:00 Whale Watch on Alala, we got to see spouts and flukes from 7 different Humpbacks. As usual, when it’s windy, the whales are really active on the surface and today’s action didn’t disappoint. We saw LOTS of tail lobbing, and one complete breach.
Finally, on Sunday’s 10:00 Whale Watch on Alala, we saw lots of spouts and lots of splashes. Most of the action was too far away for us to travel to in the strong winds. But, on the way back to the harbor, we all were excited to see two Humpbacks surface within 130 yards from us. They only spouted once before they lifted their huge flukes for a sounding dive.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Humpback Whales play host to all kinds of other animals. Besides the barnacles we often see on the Humpbacks’ flukes and other skin surfaces, the whales can also carry tape worms, lung worms, sinus flukes, and whale lice (which are related to skeleton shrimp) among others. Not all of these parasites actually harm the whale (which means that technically, they can’t really all be considered “parasites”). In fact, the barnacles might actually benefit the male Humpbacks who appear to use the sharp edges of the shells (perhaps inadvertently) as weapons during competitive battles.