We ran all of our Thursday morning Whale Watch Cruise out of Anaeho’omalu Bay, and we used both boats all morning. Guests on Manu Iwa’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise were mugged (but in a good way)! One humpback found us especially interesting, swimming right underneath us and surfacing right next to us in different positions for more than 10 minutes. Of course, we were all following him from port to starboard, and bow to stern…amazing. We also saw several breaches and pec slaps from different humpbacks and even found a competitive pod who was swimming a big erratically. Guests on Seasmoke saw lots of different whales — maybe 15? We had three different close encounters with whales who surfaced, spouted and sounded close to the boat, giving us great shots of their flukes as they began their dives.
After we dropped off the guests from this cruise, we reboarded and headed right back out again for our 10:00 Cruise. We saw some whales shortly after leaving the bay, and kind of positioned ourselves so that we could see both of them…first one would spout, then the other, then the first…and while we were waiting for the second to come up again, two other Humpbacks, about 500 yards away from us breached simultaneously! And then, maybe in response, our first whale breached just 100 yards from us…and then each of the further away whales breached…and then our first whale breached again. All in all, we saw 8 breaches!. After that we found a Mom/Baby/Escort pod. Each of the adults spent some time on their backs slapping their pectoral flippers on the water before they slipped away. And to top it all off, we were completely surprised when a whale surfaced and spouted just 10 yards off our bow, showing us his huge flukes as he sounded in front of us. Wow.
I hope you have a great weekend…I’ll send out our weekend whale recap on Monday.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Traditionally, the Hawaiian people did not hunt whales. It may be because they didn’t like the taste of the meat, or it may be because the spirit of the whale was so powerful…But if a toothed whale did end up on a beach (whether it died at sea and was blown ashore, or actually beached itself), only the ali’i (royalty) were allowed to possess any part of the whale. Carvings made from a whale’s tooth called “Niho Palaoa” brought mana (roughly defined as a spiritual force”) to the both the carver and the wearer of the pendant.