We operated both of our Thursday morning Whale Watch Cruises from Kawaihae Harbor on Alala.
Guests on our Wake up with the Whales Cruise spent over an hour with a curious baby whale. The calf and her mom swam right up to the boat…and they were accompanied by a HUGE escort who surfaced several times while we were all there. Even Captain Will, who has been doing this a long time and has seen a lot of whales, was impressed by the size of this guy!
After we dropped the guests off from this cruise, we reboarded and headed out again on our 10:00 Cruise. This time, we were barely out of the harbor when we got surrounded by a pod of Spinner Dolphins. After letting them play with us for awhile, we continued heading south and actually encountered the same Mom, Calf and Escort from the earlier trip. They were on the move, and we had a difficult time keeping a parallel path with them. At one point, one of our guests asked Greg, our naturalist, what makes a whale breach. Greg gave our standard response (we really don’t know what causes it but we have several theories: communication; ridding themselves of parasites, looking around, play….), and about 2 minutes after that, the calf started breaching. We watched him breach 8 or 9 times before the pod continued on. Then…we watched as the Spinner Dolphin pod that we had seen before noticed the whales and made a bee-line towards them. No sooner did they arrive when that HUGE escort breached…and all of us were looking in the right direction to see it. We weren’t sure if he was excited by the dolphins or trying to get rid of them, but we watched as the dolphins went one way and the trio of Humpbacks continued cruising the other way.
Have a great weekend. I’ll send out a recap of our sightings on Monday.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: A baby whale, called a “calf” looks so small and cute when seen playing with her Mom. But everything is relative…when the calf is born, she can already be 10 to as much as 15 feet long, and she weighs 2000 to 3000 pounds! The calf is about 26 feet long when it’s weaned (at 10-11 months).