The stormy weather moved our way early on Wednesday, so we weren’t able to run our Wake up with the Whales Cruise. But the ocean was calm for our 10:00 Signature Whale Watch from Kawaihae, and what a great cruise that ended up being! We saw at least 8 different Humpbacks through the course of the cruise, but the most surface action was north of the harbor at a place we call “Red Hill”. There, we found a pod of Mom and Baby who were accompanied by an escort. Something set them off because we saw multiple breaches, head lunges, pec slaps and peduncle throws from all of them. When we eventually deployed our hydrophone we heard lots of loud and clear voices from other whales in the near vicinity.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Researchers have observed that female Humpbacks with calves are accompanied by a male escort about 83% of the time during the winter season in Hawaii. Since nursing moms rarely get pregnant, we’re not sure why these males are hanging around…one theory is that the escort is trying to make a good impression on the female so that when she is receptive, she’ll consider the possibility of mating with him. Other researchers theorize that she puts up with the company of one male, hoping that he’ll scare off other amorous suitors (maybe dealing with one male at a time is better than having to deal with 2, 3, 4 or more).