Monday’s 10:00 Whale Watch left the harbor under cloudy skies, but we’ve always maintained that the whales don’t care about the rain…they’re wet anyway. After cruising north for awhile, we came across a couple of fairly large humpbacks who were swimming together. We hung out with them through 4 cycles of surfacing, spouting and fluke diving…and just as we were about to turn around and head back to the harbor, they breached simultaneously…RIGHT..IN FRONT…OF THE BOAT. It took us completely by surprise and all of us got to see at least some of it! After that incredible moment. we watched them surface and swim away, splitting up as they left us.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Yesterday I promised I’d outline the rules regulating human to Humpback interaction. In 1966, the International Whaling Commission banned most nations from hunting Humpbacks. In the U.S., the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, and the Endangered Species Act of 1973 provide additional protection to the whales. And though the Humpbacks are now no longer “officially endangered”, unless you’re operating under a federal research permit, approaching humpback whales within 100 yards (300 feet) by any means (boat, swimming, kayaking etc) or within 1,000 feet from aircraft is still prohibited. It’s also prohibited to approach the whales closer than 100 yards by interception (i.e. you can’t “hop-scotch” in front of them), or do anything that would disrupt their “normal behavior” or “prior activity”.