Guests on Tuesday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise got to see spouts and dorsal fins from 15 different Humpbacks. Most of them were several hundred yards away from us, but we did get a few close encounters. The first time it happened, we were sitting in idle with our hydrophone in the water listening to Humpbacks singing, when a pair of whales surfaced right next to us. This pod slipped below us, and then swam right up the hull but close enough to the surface that we all could see them (and those beautiful turquoise reflections). And then, it happened again with a different pod! We also saw 7 breaches and some pec slapping from whales about a third of a mile away.
On our 10:00 Cruise, we found a Mom/Baby/Escort pod just offshore of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. This calf was really small, and really active. He was on the surface a lot, and even breached right in front of our bow. While we were watching this pod, we saw spouts from several other whales a bit further away…but just couldn’t tear ourselves away from the baby (who was certainly attempting to come check us out too). Later in the cruise, a fully grown humpback from a different pod breached off our port side fairly close by.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: We’ve never witnessed a Humpback taking care of two calves. We know she could conceive twins (and whalers occasionally would find twin fetuses) but we doubt she could carry twins to term. And even if she could, we really doubt she could produce the 200 gallons of milk she’d need each day to feed two calves!