We took out quite a few Whale Watch Cruises since my last update, so here are just a few highlights:
On Friday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise, we deployed the hydrophone and heard this…absolutely incredible. On Friday’s 10:00 Cruise we started with a couple of close-by spouts…and then as we were cruising south, a humpback breached right in front of us. Of course we stopped the boat immediately, and got to watch this whale breach 3 more times. Then we noticed that he was joined by another whale, and after a bit of splashing around (some kind of competition??), they settled down and begin swimming together. We paralleled them for quite awhile before having to turn back to the harbor, watching them swim almost like porpoises (surfacing together, spouting, and then slipping under the water). On Friday’s Whales and Cocktails at Sunset, we saw lots of spouts, but spent most of our time watching (and trying to keep up with) a competitive pod of three. Two of these whales were really competing, and the third was always a couple of yards away from them. Their path was just impossible to predict, and each time they surfaced far away, and heading a different direction from where they were going when they dove.
On Saturday’s 10:00 Cruise, we saw whales everywhere. Most were too far for us to get to, but we did get to see 3 whales who surfaced maybe 50 feet away from the boat (we were stopped at the time…just finishing listening to some fantastic whale songs from our hydrophone). After the whales sounded, we couldn’t really move because we weren’t sure where they had gone.So we waited and waited, and finally when the hadn’t surfaced and we had to get back to the harbor, we started cruising again…and that’s when one, and then the next, and then the last whale breached all at our 6:00 position! Were they trying to tell us not to go?? On Saturday’s Whales and Cocktails, a couple of smaller whales (maybe a yearling and a 2 or 3 year old) who were just kind of hanging out at the surface interacting with each other, spent considerable time near us. Check out the photo below to see one of them…(and “Mahalo” to our naturalist extraordinaire, Greg, for sharing the image).
On Sunday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise, we saw about 15 different whales. We went out of the bay and then just kind of floated in place with our hydrophone deployed, and the whales started coming to us. We had lots of close encounters and saw 7 breaches about 100 yards away.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: In the early part of the 19th century, whales were hunted for more than just their blubber (which was used primarily as lamp oil). The meat was used mainly for fertilizer, the baleen was used for umbrella and corset stays, and their organs were processed to extract vitamins.