We woke up to a very calm ocean on Wednesday. Guests on our Wake up with the Whales Cruise saw spouts from two different whales during the course of the cruise, but we never got very close to either of them. As is often the case when the winds are calm, the whales weren’t doing much on the surface, and though we did technically “see Humpbacks”, it wasn’t good enough for us, so we called the trip a “Fluke” and invited everyone on board to join us on another cruise for FREE!
We got in some nice snorkeling on our Snorkel and Whale Watch Adventure Cruise, and the wind came up just in time for us to hoist the sails for our return to the bay. Of course when we’re under sail we don’t have the luxury to come to a complete stop quickly when we see a whale…and sometimes the whales we see are in a direction virtually impossible to steer to quickly due to the prevailing winds. Long story short — we saw a Humpback on our way back to the bay, but ended up sailing right past him..
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Though no one is really sure how Humpback Whales are able to navigate so accurately through the open ocean to find Hawaii, research conducted on the migratory paths of a few South Atlantic and a few South Pacific Humpbacks between 2003 and 2007 did show that regardless of currents on the surface, storms and obstacles, the humpbacks never deviated more than about 5 degrees from their straight-line migratory paths. Researchers don’t think the whales are relying solely on the earth’s magnetic fields for navigation, since magnetism varies too widely to explain the straight paths the whales swim, and they also don’t think the whales are just using the sun (like many birds do) because the ocean wouldn’t provide an adequate frame of reference. It’s possible the whales rely on both those methods, combined with celestial markers. Or maybe the whales navigate by following the sounds of each other’s voices. Researchers are still working to solve the mystery.