The winds were blowing at Anaeho’omalu Bay on Tuesday, so we weren’t able to run our cruises from there. Luckily for us, there was a lee in Kawaihae, allowing us to take folks out and see the whales safely. Guests joining us on our 10:00 Cruise saw more than a dozen whales — spouts, flukes, and dorsal fins. As is usual for a windy day, we saw a lot of breaching going on in the wind line, and plenty of tail lobs and pec slaps. We also heard some great sounds when we deployed the hydrophone.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: You may have noticed in these reports that I don’t often mention the gender of the Humpbacks we’re watching. That’s because unless you’re directly underneath the whale, it’s almost impossible to tell (nothing really “sticks out” on a whale). Male genitals are internalized and so are females’ mammary glands though females do have noticeable mammary grooves in their pelvic areas and a lump called a “hemispheric lobe” near their genital slits. From the surface, whale watchers can assume that the whale closest to a calf is a female. Generally the whale joining a cow and calf (called the “tender” or “escort”) is a male. Also, it is generally assumed that a competitive pod is made up of one female who leads (or is chased by) a group of males.