Guests on Wednesday’s Signature Whale Watch Cruise got to spend some time with a pod of two adult Humpbacks who were hanging around just outside of the harbor. These two were behaving very consistently. Each time they surfaced, they would spout 3 times before lifting their flukes, giving us some nice views of their tails, and sounding.
As we hadn’t received reports from any of the other boats out at sea about other Humpback sightings, and we didn’t see signs of any other Humpbacks ourselves, we stayed with this duo for our entire trip. And actually, our patience paid off several times when the Humpbacks decided to surface just 100 yards from our idling boat.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: In 2004, a company called Whale Power was founded by Dr. Frank Fish, Dr. Phil Watts and Stephen Dewar. The company builds windmill blades shaped like a Humpback’s Pectoral Flippers (“arms”) with tubercles on the leading edge. The ironically named Dr. Fish was inspired to develop the prototype after looking at a sculpture of a Humpback, and pondering how (or if) the bumps on the front of the whale’s flippers would help him move efficiently through the water. He and his partners enlisted the help of the Navy and used their wind tunnel to discover that tubercles break up air (or water) flow…and now with the whale-inspired design, Whale Power’s turbine blades are not only more efficient than smooth blades, but they never stall out violently like smooth blades do, and thus don’t damage the turbine engines. The company’s motto… “A Million Years of Field Tests”.