Throughout the course of Monday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise, we saw more than 15 different Humpbacks. Highlights included seeing two breaches about 150 yards from the boat (and fortunately, we were all looking in the right direction to see them). We also watched a lot of pec slapping from two mature whales, and when we deployed the hydrophone, the sounds we heard were very loud and clear.
Guests on our Signature Whale Watch Cruise were accompanied by a lone sub-adult for the first half of the cruise. This whale spent a lot of time on the surface, and when he did submerge, it was only for 5 or 6 minutes at a time. He stayed close enough to us that not only did we get great views of him, but we could actually hear his spouts too. Later in the cruise we found another pod of two further out to sea, and saw multiple spouts and a couple of breaches from whales even further away.
The best sightings during our Whales and Cocktails at Sunset Cruise happened towards the end of the trip when we encountered a pod of two sub-adults. These smaller Humpbacks never took deep dives…and spent a lot of time just kind of resting and breathing on the surface. Since they were so close to the harbor, we spent a lot of time watching them (probably too much time), which delayed our return to the dock — but it’s just so difficult to drive away from Humpbacks!
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: To our untrained ears, the sounds we hear from our hydrophones sound pretty random, though we have noticed the lack of certain phrases this year that we heard fairly often last year. According to a paper published in the journal Current Biology, it turns out that our ears aren’t so untrained after all. Researchers have documented that the Humpback songs in the South Pacific are actually changing really quickly. Over the last decade, completely new song themes are appearing within a season. The researchers compared the radical evolution of the Humpbacks’ songs to human musical composition, suggesting that the themes are so novel; it’s as if whole new human musical genres were appearing that no one had ever heard just a few years ago.