We had a wonderful time on Thursday’s 10:00 Whale Watch from Kawaihae. We spent the first part of the cruise heading towards spouts we saw to the south of us. Each time we’d arrive at the spot where we had seen a spout, the whales were already long gone. But we finally we saw a lot of surface splashing near the Mauna Kea so we decided to go check it out. On our way there, we were surprised when a big humpback spouted about 100 yards from us…we stopped, and watched him sound…only to be surprised again when about 3 minutes later, he surfaced just 20 yards off our starboard bow, spouting and giving us an incredible view of his flukes as he sounded right in front of us. We waited for him to surface again, and after about 15 minutes he did, accompanied by a somewhat smaller whale. After watching them spout, we had to head back to the harbor. On the way back we were surprised and delighted when we saw that tell-tale tiny spout of a calf — the first we’d seen this season! Baby spouted a few times, dove down, and after a couple of minutes came back to the surface and spouted a few more times. And then Mom decided to surface too, spouting a few times before slipping under the surface.
On our Whales and Cocktails at Sunset Cruise, we saw lots of spouts, and lots of whales, including TWO different Mom/Baby pods. Both calves were really cute. The second one was so tiny, and his dorsal fin was very bent, all indications he had been born very recently.
Hope your weekend is filled with whales…I’ll send out a recap of our sightings on Monday.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: The gestation period for a Humpback whale is about 11 months, so the little calves we saw today were most likely conceived here last winter. Interestingly, we can only estimate the length of gestation because oddly, researchers have never observed the same female mating and then giving birth!