We ran quite a few trips this past weekend…and saw too much to report in detail, so here are some highlights. On Friday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise we saw 6 different Humpbacks, including one who breached 5 times just 100 yards from us. We also saw pec slapping and tail lobbing from other whales during that cruise. On Friday’s 10:00 Cruise, a pod of Spinner Dolphins met us outside the harbor and led us to a pod of two fairly large (40′) Humpbacks. These whales hung out with us for most of the trip, surfacing and spouting several times about 75 yards from our idling boat. Interestingly, each time they dove, one would show us his flukes, and the other just kind of slipped under the water. And when we deployed the hydrophone, we heard the clearest and loudest singing of the season so far. On Friday’s Whales and Cocktails at Sunset Cruise we found the same pair of Humpbacks we had been looking at earlier in the day (same size/same behavior/same fluke pattern on the one who showed his flukes), and they hung out with us spouting and diving for most of the cruise.
The wind came up strong towards the end of Saturday’s 10:00 Whale Watch, forcing most of us into the cabin…but before that happened we got to see blows and tails from 4 different Humpbacks within 150 yards of us. We watched the first pod of two for a couple of surfacing cycles before moving on to take a look at other Humpbacks who surfaced at our 12:00 and 1:00 simultaneously. There was some breaching going on too…but all that activity was too far away for us to travel.
Guests joining us for our early Christmas morning Wake up with the Whales Cruise saw some spouting towards the Mauna Lani so Captain Adam headed us that way. Of course the whales sounded before we arrived, but a little bit of patience paid off when they surfaced again 150 yards off our bow. We watched these whales for most of the cruise, spouting, surfacing and diving, but we also got to see a peduncle throw. On our 10:00 Whale Watch from Kawaihae, we saw 9 different Humpbacks…most of them were just kind of cruising, but we did get to see 3 breaches throughout the course of that cruise.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Though they look inflexible, a Humpback’s flukes (the wide part of his tail) contains no bones…just cartilage. When the whale is born, the sides of his flukes are curled up so he can slide more easily out of mom’s birth canal.
(Mahalo to Guest Jack Metzel for sharing these images with us!