Lots to report from the weekend – so here are the highlights from just a few of our cruises.
Friday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise: Leaving the bay, we saw a juvenile Humpback breach, followed by 3 more 3/4 breaches. After this incredible start to the trip, we headed out to see two competitive pods (one of 5 and one of 3). We watched as these pods joined together….at which point the ocean became electric. We watched lots of pushing and shoving…pec slaps…trumpeting…tail lobs…spy hops…fluke dives…and more than 20 breaches. It all happened about 200 yards away. To be completely honest, we couldn’t really believe what we were watching!
Friday’s 10:00 Cruise: Lots of spouting and fluke diving…but we were all surprised when one of our youngest sailors sitting on the bow shouted, “I see it, it’s under me!”. Sure enough, the whale was cruising right under the surface and we all walked to the bow as quickly as we could…seeing those beautiful turquoise reflections off the white parts of a whale’s body is one of those experiences you never forget. Talk about a close encounter!
Saturday’s 10:00 Cruise: We headed south from the harbor towards Puako. At one point we were kind of surrounded – with a pod of two Humpbacks to our starboard side, and two more towards our port side. We also saw 3 breaches about 800 yards to our stern. In between sightings, we had an opportunity to lower our hydrophone and we got to hear some singers who, based on clarity and volume, were very close by. When we finally had to head back to the harbor, we encountered a pod of two whales who were on the move. As we watched, one of them did 4 peduncle throws. Apparently he made his point to the other whale, as they (and we) continued on.
Sunday’s Wake up with the Whales: It was a fluke! We didn’t see whales at all during this cruise…which is really odd considering the numbers of whales and activities we’ve been seeing on all the cruises leading up to this one. When we dropped the hydrophone, we heard some new Humpback sounds (well, new for us). Unfortunately, every time we tried to record, the whales stopped singing…but one of the singers sounded like he was screaming. Since we guarantee sightings (and not just songs) on this cruise, the good news is that everyone aboard was invited to join us on another Whale Watch Cruise for FREE!
Sunday’s 10:00 Cruise: After departing from the harbor, we took a left hand turn and headed south towards Puako. We encountered a pod of two Humpbacks who spouted and then lifted their flukes off our port side, followed immediately by another two who spouted and lifted their flukes a bit closer to us on our starboard side. Besides these two pods of two, we saw spouts from 8 other Humpbacks, a bit of surface splashing in the distance, and one breach off our stern (well…the people sitting on the couches at the stern got to see that breach…most of us were looking in other directions).
Mahalo to Bob and Gail Sims for sharing this moment with us from Friday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Humpbacks produce sounds in frequencies ranging from 10 hz to 24 khz. A healthy young adult human can generally hear sounds in frequencies between the ranges of 20 hz to 20 khz which means that we’re not hearing everything the whales are singing.