Guests on Thursday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise got the opportunity to see such a wonderful duo. We didn’t find these whales till half way through our charter, but every “whale-less” moment was worth it when we finally saw our first dorsal fin. This tiny calf popped up and didn’t even spout (or if he did, we couldn’t see it). As we approached them, baby came to the surface several times and began approaching us! We got to see him roll around (it looked like he was lying on mom’s rostrum — her big head– for awhile). Finally Mom made her appearance. Compared to the calf, she was really big…but compared to many of the Humpbacks we see out here, she was clearly a young Mom. As we cheered for them, both these whales turned towards us and finally took sounding dives underneath us. While we were watching them, we also deployed our hydrophone and got to listen to some very loud, almost “haunting” sounds.
On our 10:00 Whale Watch from Kawaihae, we found the same Mom and Calf just off shore of Hapuna. This time, they were accompanied by an escort, and just like on our 8:00 Cruise, they approached the boat to take a look at us. Both Mom and the escort weren’t too interested in letting baby approach though, and it was interesting to watch how they positioned themselves between the curious calf and our boat. On our Sail With the Whales Cruise, we got to see spouts from at last 8 different whales. We spent a considerable amount of time watching a pod of two. One of these whales was significantly smaller than the other. The bigger whale did several peduncle throws, and the smaller whale spent some time on the surface with her flukes curled downwards.Though we can’t be certain, we thought that the downward curled flukes were the result of a desire from this smaller whale (female??) to prevent an approach from the bigger whale (male??). We also saw a couple of great pec slaps from the smaller whale.
Mahalo and have a great weekend. I’ll send out a recap of our sightings on Monday.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: There’s a time when a whale is still in its fetal stage that it’s covered in fur. By the time the calf is born, the fur has disappeared. Many researchers believe that this is another indication that whales have evolved from an animal with a common ancestor to a hippo. The idea that the stages of an animal’s fetal development reflect evolutionary development or “Ontogeny recapitulates Phylogeny” was first proposed by Ernst Haeckel around 1900.