We woke up to another high-surf day, and we cancelled our Anaeho’omalu Bay Cruise for safety. Luckily, most of the guests who had booked the 8:00 cruise were able to join us on our 10:00 Cruise from Kawaihae and we had some great sightings. For the first part of our cruise, we watched several different pods of two Humpbacks who were just spouting and sounding. Then we came across a competitive pod of three. These three were on the surface, breathing regularly (and frequently, as they were busily chasing each other around). We saw some twists, turns and half flukes…and then the whale in the lead (maybe a female?) peeled out on her own. After a couple more spouts, the other two split too. On the way back to the harbor we were treated to a pod of two Humpbacks who spouted and then showed us their flukes in a beautiful synchronous dive. And finally, just before we entered the mouth of the harbor, we saw a small pod of spinner dolphins in front of us who were headed south. The surf was so big – even at the harbor entrance – that we couldn’t slow down to watch them leap and spin..but there’s always tomorrow!
On our Whales and Cocktails at Sunset Cruise, we spent considerable time watching a calm pod of three Humpbacks who were just cruising along the surface. We saw other spouts throughout the cruise too, and just as the sun set, got to watch two Humpbacks lift their flukes into the air and dive, one right after the other.
Yesterday, I promised I’d share the video of our Wednesday Whale mugging…turns out the file is too big to attach easily. So I’ve posted just a few minutes of footage courtesy of our Captain Gary on our Facebook page so you can see what it’s like when the Humpbacks are looking at you!
Have a great weekend. I’ll send a recap of our sightings to you on Monday.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: All mammals have hair. Humpback Whales are mammals… so where is their hair? Humpbacks have rows of bumps on their chins that we call “tubercles”. Out of each one, sticks a hair that’s about 1/2 inch long that we call a “vibrissa”. Because there’s a nerve ending underneath each hair, and blood flow to the nerve, we know the whales use these hairs to sense something…but we’re not sure what they’re sensing. Quite likely, they use their hairs like cats use their whiskers- for proprioception.