The winds had quieted down…but just a notch…from what we had on Monday, so were able to take our guests out on a Wake up with the Whales Cruise from Anaeho’omalu on Tuesday. We actually saw spouts from 10 to maybe 15 different whales. Of course the spouts dissipated quickly in the wind, and the choppier conditions made it more difficult for us to travel to what we were seeing. Despite all of that, we were quite happy when two different pods of two surfaced about 100 yards away from us at both our 11:00 and 1:00 early in the cruise. Some of us got to see a breach at our 3:00 later in the cruise (most of us were looking in other directions). And, though we didn’t think it would work very well, we took some time to deploy our hydrophone, and we were really surprised by the loud, clear songs we heard.
On our 10:00 Cruise on Alala, we also saw lots of spouts from lots of different whales. Highlights included a totally unexpected breach right in front of us. We also watched some interesting dynamics between a whale who was approached by multiple whales throughout our two hour cruise. These approaches never turned into any kind of competition that we could discern, but this whale was also never accompanied by more than one other whale at a time. When we looked south towards Puako, we could see a lot of commotion from a whale who breached 5 times, and then tail lobbed and pec slapped many more times.
We also went out at 3:00 from Anaeho’omalu on our Sail with the Whales Cruise. It was still pretty windy, but the whales didn’t seem to care. We were pleasantly surprised several times when whales surfaced within 100 yards of us…first at our stern, and then at our 2:00 and 3:00. We’re fairly certain these were different whales too…all in all we saw probably a dozen different humpbacks and 6 of them came over to us to take a look at the boat.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: When we watch a surface active competitive pod of whales, we assume it is comprised of one female either leading or being chased by a group of males. It often appears that every male is competing with every other male for access to the female. Recently researchers have observed that male humpbacks may form coalitions, working together to corral the female so that one may have easier access to her.