On Friday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise we saw 14 different Humpbacks, including one who decided to spend considerable time looking at us (which is what we call a “mugging”). This whale cruised around the boat right under the surface for more than 15 minutes. We’re not sure who was having a better time…us, running around the boat, watching him, or him swimming around us and looking up at the crazy humans making all that noise above him. We also saw 8 different breaches from another whale who was very close by. On our 10:00 Cruise, we had to keep our heads on swivels, as whales kept popping up in different directions. We also saw some head lunges and a few tail lobs during this cruise.
On our New Year’s Eve 10:00 Signature Whale Watch, we saw some spouts south of the harbor…but also some paddle boarders way out to sea. As we kept our eyes on the paddle boarders, a whale breached right in front of them, so we turned the boat and headed out that way. We arrived in the area, only to see two Humpbacks breach 7 or 8 times right in front of and between the paddle boarders — so close that we all were a bit worried for the safety of the humans. The paddle boarders must not have been aware of the regulations protecting the Humpbacks, as each time a whale took a dive, they’d paddle over to where they had last seen it…anyway, after the whales tired of breaching, one of them began slapping her huge pec fin on the surface of the water repeatedly. We finally left, as we didn’t want the whales to get boxed in by the other boats arriving to watch the activity. We saw several more spouts and a couple more close up views of other whales as we headed back to the harbor.
And on our first Whale Watch Cruise of the New Year, we saw lots and lots of spouts from whales in every direction. Unfortunately, the swell was coming up, so we couldn’t maneuver out to see them. Towards the end of the cruise, as we were motoring south, a pod of Humpbacks surfaced just about 20 yards from us at our 5:00 position…so we stopped to watch them spout a few more times before diving, showing us their huge (and quite beautiful) flukes. At that point, we really had to get back to the bay, so we started travelling again, only to be surprised by a pod of two more Humpbacks who surfaced and spouted at our 12:00 position just 100 yards from us. Again, we stopped and watched them spout a few times before they sounded…providing us a great finale for our cruise and our weekend.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Humpbacks have big beautiful brown eyes…the size of grapefruits. But, how well do they see through them?…and how would we determine that anyway? Stay tuned for the answers to those questions tomorrow.
Humpbacks visit us on Friday (Mahalo to Captain Ryan for sharing this image)!