We were greeted by a breaching whale when we left the bay for Wednesday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise. And that pretty much set the tone for the entire trip. We saw as many as 35 different Humpbacks during the cruise — they were popping up everywhere we looked. We also saw many, many more breaches, including one that was just about 100 yards from the boat (and this was a BIG whale who breached). We stopped the boat on several occasions and got to see multiple close encounters as different Humpbacks approached us and swam under and along side of us. We also got to see a pod of 7 adult Humpbacks interacting at the surface. Oh…and when we deployed the hydrophone we heard some fantastic songs.Captain Will was our on-board naturalist for this cruise, and he proclaimed it one of the best Whale Watch Cruises he’s been on in a very long time!
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day:How do Humpbacks keep their cool when swimming through our warm Hawaiian waters? During prolonged exercise in warm water, excess heat is shed by increasing circulation to a network of capillaries (in Latin they’re called “retia mirabiliia” which translates to “miracle network”) near the surface of the Humpbacks’ flippers, flukes and dorsal fin — the excess heat is shed to the external environment. In fact, many researchers believe that whales lifting their pectoral fins into the air, or resting with their flukes exposed vertically are actually trying to cool off.