We had a lot of fun with the Humpbacks on Monday. We took out two boats for our Wake up with the Whales Cruise and though we left from the same place at the same time, guests on each boat had different experiences. Those who joined us on Manu Iwa were watching whales even before we left the bay. We got to see lots of pec slaps and a few breaches too. Guests who were on Seasmoke saw quite a few spouts and some breaches from far away, but it wasn’t until the end of the cruise that we found ourselves surrounded. We watched part of a competitive pod surface at our 11:00 and another pod at our 1:00. While we were watching these whales, another whale surprised us all by surfacing only about 50 yards away, at our 7:00. It was a fantastic way to end a great cruise.
A guest on our 10:00 Signature Whale Watch from Kawaihae said that on a scale from 1 to 100, this cruise was a 250…and we have to agree. It started off slow for us as we seemed to just be seeing spouts and a fluke or two. But then we encountered a very lazy competitive pod of 3 whales. Two were certainly following (or slowly chasing) the one in front…but then a 4th whale arrived, and the competition heated up. We saw pec slaps, peduncle throws, tail lobs, more pec slaps, and even some double pec slaps all just 100 yards away from us. Then the whale in the front started breaching…and breaching..and breaching. Not to be outdone, the whales behind her (?) started breaching and head lunging, and pec slapping and then rolling over so just one side of a fluke was showing. From our vantage point, it looked like two of the whales were swimming ventral side to ventral side on the surface (belly to belly), touching. We couldn’t believe our eyes, as multiple times, one whale was breaching, two were pec slapping and one was tail lobbing. We finally had to pull ourselves away from the action to return to the harbor. As we motored away, we got to see 1 final breach. To be honest, it took us a good 20 minutes before our blood pressure returned to normal!
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Being mammals, Humpback Moms feed their calves milk. But Humpback milk isn’t just any old milk — it’s extremely rich with a fat content of approximately 50%! Human milk contains only about 4.8% fat. Supposedly, Humpback milk tastes like “sweetened cod liver oil”…but I’ll have to rely on what I read to verify that description.