Guests on Tuesday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise got to see one of our favorite pods…Mom, Baby, and Escort (for a definition of who the “escort” is, please see below). These three were gently swimming along the surface. Getting to see baby’s spout compared to his Mom’s (and the escort’s) really made us appreciate how small he actually is. But though watching them was really wonderful, the highlight of this trip had to have been when we were totally surprised with a full breach from a whale we didn’t even know was near by (and this breach was NEAR BY). After he breached, he and his buddy swam right underneath us, giving us all a good look at them.
On our 10:00 Cruise from Kawaihae, we spotted lots of little splashes near Hapuna Beach, so we headed that way. The splashes turned out to be from a very active pod of Spinner Dolphins who decided to join us once they heard (or echo-located) the boat. These dolphins played in our bow wake, and were leaping and spinning all around us. While we were watching them, we saw the tell-tale spouts from two Humpbacks. The whales were surrounded by the dolphins, and actually made a pretty close pass by our boat. Besides this interesting interaction, we also saw spouts from 10 other Humpbacks in the vicinity.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: We frequently see Mom and Baby whale accompanied by a third whale called the “escort”. We used to think the escort was another female humpback who was there to help mom take care of her baby. But now that we can identify gender more easily, we know it isn’t. It’s a male. Though a new mom infrequently ovulates, researchers posit that the escort is hanging around “hoping to make a good impression” so when Mom is receptive, he may be the first to mate with her. Unless it’s a very strange coincidence, this escort is not the father of the calf.