The surf was up on Wednesday, but that didn’t prevent the Humpbacks from hanging out close to shore at Anaeho’omalu Bay. On our Wake up with the Whales Cruise, we saw several spouts as we were heading past the breakers at the mouth of the bay, but were totally surprised when one Humpback breached just about 50 yards off our bow. Of course we stopped the boat immediately — and watched as two other whales surfaced right next to the breacher. This pod stayed with us for more than 40 minutes. We saw a few pectoral slaps, a peduncle throw, and even a spy hop. We also got to see and hear them all spout multiple times as they stayed near the surface right near us.
On our 10:00 Whale Watch from Kawaihae, we saw some spouts and a few splashes, but nothing really close to the boat. So, while we know the Humpbacks were there, Captain Will wasn’t satisfied that we were able to provide our guests with a real whale watching experience. He called the trip a “fluke” and invited everyone aboard to join us again on another morning Whale Watch for FREE!
Here, a Humpback begins to spy hop. There’s still several feet of head to go before her eyes are above the water!
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Spy hopping is one of the ways a Humpback can see what’s going on above the surface of the water. Because Humpbacks have really big heads proportionally, their eyes are about a third of the way down their bodies. When the whale spy hops, she rises slowly and vertically from the water, head first. If she’s a fully grown whale, the tip of her rostrum may be 15 feet above the surface before her eyes get there!