Guests on our Thursday 10:00 Whale Watch Cruise had quite the experience. Usually I try to sum up what happens during the two hours we’re out, but today I’m sending you the exact description provided by our fantastic on board naturalist, Angelica.
As soon as we left the harbor we spotted spouts in the near distance. The two whales sounded offering beautiful views of their flukes. We saw some other spouts in the far distance but continued to do “Whale Waiting” to see how long they would be down for. It was about 17 mins before they came up again, so at this point we decided to start moving south to check out some of the other whales in the area. Just as we turned to leave they did a full double breach… so we decided they must want us to stick around!We continued to watch as they sounded and would come up to spout about every 7 mins. At this point, close to shore, we noticed a single whale doing pec slaps and then saw it breach so we moved in closer to shore. We watched this whale roll on its side and do huge pec slaps. Eventually the whale sounded and we followed its footprints north. We were waiting to get our last sighting before heading back to the harbor when suddenly, out of nowhere, it breached on the port side bow right next to the boat! The whale then moved right under the bow of the boat offering everyone a close up view through the nets before coming up and breaching so close to the boat that we could see the huge barnacle and the whale’s white belly! It breached with its belly towards us so that we could also see all the ventral pleats along its jaw!As the whale moved north we could see three other spouts in the distance all moving towards each other, as if they were starting to group up. It was the best grand finale any whale watcher could ask for! My heart is still racing!We then made our way back south to the harbor, and along the way came across a whale doing spy hops. As we got a better look we realized it was a baby! This was the first newborn I have seen this season! Mom and escort were close by. Another two whales came up on our starboard side and did head lunges on top of one another. The lead whale did aggressive jaw clapping. They were moving fast and it wasn’t long before they were farther out to sea. At this point behind the boat in the far distance we could see a single whale doing tail slaps. Unfortunately it was time to go back in so we couldn’t go investigate but it must have tail slapped 60 times or more! Between the breaching, pec slaps, tail slaps, and close encounter it was one of the most amazing whale watches ever!!!Oh, and what made the best day even better, was the 2nd and 3rd graders from Waimea Country Day School who joined us on the cruise. We’ve noticed over the years that when kids are aboard (especially kids chanting in Hawaiian in unison), the whales seem drawn to us…and it sure happened today!”
Have a great weekend…I’ll send out a recap of our weekend sightings on Monday.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: How big are Humpbacks? The fifth largest of the great whales, humpbacks average about 40–45 feet long when they are fully grown and can weigh up to one ton per foot. Females are slightly larger than males. Calves are 10 –15 feet long at birth and weigh about 3000 pounds.