The winds have subsided and now the surf is up on the Kohala Coast, but the Humpbacks were certainly cooperative for Wednesday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise. We actually took out two boats from Anaeho’omalu for this cruise. Guests on Manu Iwa saw at least 8 different whales. Highlights included some competition between two whales who were peduncle throwing and pectoral slapping. We also got to see the one behavior people ask us about on every cruise…breaching. We were amazed by some spectacular breaching fairly close to us…and hopefully the photos will do it justice (we’ll post as soon as we can)!
Guests on Seasmoke also got to see (and hear) a lot of surface activity. We found some whales who were tail lobbing, and while we were stopped and watching them we decided to deploy the hydrophone so that we could listen to other whales singing. Interestingly, what we heard most clearly was the sounds of whale flukes hitting the water. There are a lot of theories about why whales do things like tail lob, and one of them suggests that it’s a form of long distance communication. After yesterday morning’s experiences, we have to say we’re proponents of this theory. When the tail lobbers stopped tail lobbing, they started breaching and we got to witness more breaches than we could even count.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: There’s a time when a whale is still in its fetal stage that it’s covered in fur. By the time the calf is born, the fur has disappeared. Many researchers believe that this is another indication that whales have evolved from an animal with a common ancestor to a hippo. The idea that the stages of an animal’s fetal development reflect evolutionary development or “Ontogeny recapitulates Phylogeny” was first proposed by German Biologist Ernst Haeckel around 1900.