A funny thing happened on the way to our snorkel site on Friday’s Private Snorkel Cruise. We were almost to Puako when we saw a whale tail-lobbing repetitively in very shallow water. When he finished tail lobbing, he dipped his head down and lifted his flukes straight out of the water — remember this very shallow water. How shallow? After we finished snorkeling and the whale had already left the area, we took the boat over and discovered that this whale had been in 29 feet of water. Since the whale appeared to be about 35′ long, we’re still wondering if he bumped his head on the coral!
There were whales spouting in every direction we looked during our entire Wake up with the Whales Cruise on Saturday…including one who spy-hopped right off our stern. After taking a brief look at us, this whale disappeared. With all that surface activity, we thought for sure that we’d hear a symphony of whale songs when we deployed the hydrophone, but instead, we were met with an eerie silence. Guests on Saturday’s Alala Signature Whale Watch Cruise were harassed by a 25 foot long Humpback (but we didn’t mind!). This little guy spent more than 30 minutes swimming around and under us! We called the Seasmoke to come on over (because by then they were already on their Snorkel and Whale Watch Adventure Cruise) but before they could get to where we were, they were distracted by other whales. On the way back to the bay after snorkeling, guests on Seasmoke did see a Mom/Baby/Escort pod. Baby wasn’t a newborn, but since we haven’t seen a lot of calves yet this season, we were really excited to find this one.
On Sunday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise we headed towards a whale who was breaching repetitively right next to some paddlers. From our vantage point, it looked like we might have to do an ocean rescue, but fortunately the whale wasn’t as close to them as he appeared to be. After the whale finished breaching he surprised us by swimming under us (unbeknownst to us) and spouting just about 25 feet away from us. We also heard some incredible songs when we lowered the hydrophone — and towards the end of the cruise found a pod of two whales. One was substantially smaller than the other, but since we watched him do a 15 minute dive, we’re pretty sure he wasn’t a calf — probably a yearling. On Sunday’s Signature Whale Watch we saw spouts everywhere. We got a surprise close encounter from a pod of 3 Humpbacks who surfaced right next to us, sounded, and swam right underneath us.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: We frequently see Mom and Baby whale accompanied by a third whale. We used to think this third whale was a female helping mom take care of her baby, but now that we can identify gender more easily, we know it isn’t. It’s a male. Though a new mom infrequently ovulates, researchers believe that perhaps the male whale is “hoping to make a good impression” so when she is receptive, he may be the first to mate with her. Unless it’s a very strange coincidence, this escort is not the father of the calf.