The strong southwesterly winds caused us to cancel all of our Cruises on Monday. So instead of a recap of our sightings, I thought I’d share a great series of photos capturing a breach, courtesy of our own Captain Gary.
For those of you unable to see the photos, here’s an interesting interpretation on some observed Humpback behaviors:: Dr. Alison Craig and her associates note that female Humpbacks in Hawaii with calves in tow swim 75% faster when they’re being chased by males in deep water than when they’re being chased in shallow water. As water depth decreased, so did the number of males following the mother, making females with calves most likely to be found alone in the shallows.
So why is this observation important? Dr. Craig suggests that unwelcome attention from male humpbacks compels females and their calves to increase their swimming speed, which in turn would require the mothers to supply their calves with more milk to compensate for the extra energy they’ve used.
Since the increased milk production requires increased energy output, and since female humpbacks in Hawaii aren’t replacing calories by feeding, the researchers theorize that perhaps female humpbacks with calves seek shallow water not so much to avoid predators…but to avoid sexual harassment from male Humpbacks!