Guests on Monday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise got to see a lot of action from about 16 different Humpbacks. We found no calves during this cruise, but we did see a wide variety of surface activities. We watched one whale slap his left pectoral fin on the water 8 times before switching to his right fin for 2 final slaps. We saw 4 breaches and 4 head lunges from another whale. We saw multiple tail lobs and even two peduncle throws. But what was most interesting to us, wasn’t a Humpback sighting at all…we were about 3 miles offshore of the Hilton Waikoloa Village when we encountered what we thought were Bottle Nose Dolphins. But as they approached the boat, we realized they had very blunt rostrums (“noses”) and were much, much darker than the typical bottle nose we see. The first two we found were just logging on the surface, but then the rest of the pod showed up…numbering about 30. They weren’t very active on the surface which at first made us think they were pygmy killer whales. But they also didn’t have the white scars typical of those animals, so they may have been resting melon heads. We’re hoping some of our guests with high tech cameras send us some photos so we can make a positive identification!
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Though most of us on Whale Watch Cruises in Hawaii are here to see the Humpback Whales, according to our friends at Cascadia Research, there are actually 18 species of odontocetes (toothed whales) and 7 species of mysticetes (whales with baleen) that have been documented in Hawaiian waters.