Here’s how we spent our weekend:
- On Friday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise we spent some time watching Mom and baby, but we saw a few mature whales out there too. We also saw some breaches out on the horizon.
- On Friday’s Snorkel and Whale Watch Adventure Cruise, we also got to see Mom and baby. The baby breached multiple times, which delayed our arrival at the snorkel spot (couldn’t drive away from a breaching baby Humpback)!
- Guests on Friday’s 10:00 Cruise watched two mature humpbacks surface, spout and dive multiple times. They were on 15 minutes breath hold cycles, and every time we thought we had seen the last of them, they’d surface again!
- On Saturday, the surf had come up so much that we had to cancel our Anaeho’omalu Bay Cruises, but we were able to operate safely from the harbor, and we’re glad we did. We started our 10:00 Cruise heading north towards some splashes we saw several miles away. On the way out, we were surprised by a couple of spouts about 300 yards from us, so we diverted course, and when we were about 150 yards away, one of the whale breached right in front of us! And then…he breached 3 more times.We also got to see several other spouts here and there, and towards the end of the cruise came across a humpback who was alternating peduncle throws with tail lobs. We weren’t sure if he was accompanied by another whale…but if he wasn’t, we really wondered why he was expending all that energy.
- Sunday marked the 20th Lavaman Triathlon at Anaeho’omalu Bay, and we didn’t want to impede the athletes, so we operated only out of Kawaihae. Guests on our 10:00 Cruise watched 4 different Humpbacks. These whales were all kind of lazy, just surfacing to breath a few times and then sounding again for a 10 minute dive.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: The barnacles called “Coronula diadema” live only on Humpback Whales, and they seem to prefer to live on areas of the whale where the water flow is consistent (chin and fins). Though researchers aren’t sure how the barnacle can even find a whale to live on, there is some speculation that because the barnacles are spawning during the winter in Hawaii, the whales here are swimming in “barnacle larvae soup”. When a whale swims by, those “baby” barnacles chemically sense it, and hop on where ever they can. They use their antennae as “feet’ and walk around the whale till they find a suitable spot (which can take quite a while… if the barnacle were the size of a person, the whale would be 20 miles long). Once they find a spot they like, they flip over and produce tube-shaped cavities in their shells that actually draw in prongs of growing whale skin, holding their position on the whale for life.