As usual, there’s so much to report from a weekend of Whale Watching, so here are just a few highlights.
- Towards the end of Friday’s Snorkel and Whale Watch Adventure Cruise, we found a Mom/Calf pod. They both swam towards our stern, and we got a great view of Mom’s flukes when she lifted them really high into the air as she and her calf simultaneously sounded just 10 yards or so off our port stern corner.
- On Friday’s Educational Whale Watch Cruise, the keiki and chaperones from Ka Oha Pili Academy had close encounters twice with a pod of two adult humpbacks who surfaced near-by, and also got to see a couple of full breaches a bit further away.
- Guests on Friday’s Whales and Cocktails at Sunset Cruise were mesmerized by a sub-adult Humpback who got into a tail lobbing frenzy (he slapped the water at least 30 times with his flukes), followed by several pectoral slaps. We’re really not sure towards whom he was directly all that energy!
- On Saturday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise, we got to watch two different competitive pods slamming around at the surface, as well as a Mom/Baby pod. We saw 3 different close-by breaches during thus cruise.
- On Saturday’s Signature Whale Watch Cruise, there were whales everywhere, including one who breached more than 30 times (10 of those breaches were just 100 yards from us) followed by a whole bunch of pec slaps.
- On Saturday’s Snorkel and Whale Watch Adventure Cruise, besides getting to go snorkeling, we had quite the whale show. We saw multiple head lunges, pec slaps, peduncle throws, and breaches. We also got to watch a whale swim right under us, and even saw a Mom/Baby/Escort pod.
- The action continued during Saturday’s Whales & Cocktails at Sunset Cruise with multiple breaching whales in many directions. But the highlight of this cruise was watching a Humpback surrounded by a pod of Spinner Dolphins. It looked to us like the Humpback was pretty fed up with the dolphins because not only did he breach right in the middle of the pod, but it also looked to us that he slapped one of those dolphins right out of the water with his flukes (either that or the dolphin leapt just as the whale lifted his tail),
- On Sunday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise, we saw lots of pods of whales just kind of surfacing and spouting — more than 20 whales in all. The cruise began with a tail-lobber, and ended with a surprise close encounter from a whale who surfaced just 40 yards off our bow. Of course we stopped the boat immediately, and got a great view of his flukes as he sounded in front of us.
- Finally, Sunday’s Signature Whale Watch was just one big surprise after another. We saw spinner dolphins, two mom/baby pods (one of them breached simultaneously), a mature humpback who breached 100 yards off our port side, followed immediately by two other mature whales who surfaced about 20 feet off our starboard side, a shark cruising on the surface (probably a hammerhead), and to top it off, a tuna who jumped completely out of the water!
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Though they look inflexible, a Humpback’s flukes (the wide part of his tail) contain no bones…just cartilage. When the whale is born, the sides of his flukes are curled up so he can slide more easily out of mom’s birth canal.