I know that in yesterday’s update, I told you I wouldn’t send out another one till Monday, but we saw a lot of fun stuff on Friday, so I thought it was worth an email… On the Wake up with the Whales Cruise, we watched a pair of Humpbacks surfacing and diving repetitively in just 90 feet of water off of Honoko’ape Bay. Guests on our Signature Whale Watch Cruise spent much of their cruise watching the same two whales. Though this cruise departed from Kawaihae, and the first cruise departed from Anaeho’omalu Bay, our second cruise found the pair off shore of the Mauna Lani (where our first cruise last saw them) and paralleled them as they headed north to Kawaihae. Almost immediately after we had to say “Aloha” to these Humpbacks to head back to the harbor, we looked down off the port bow and saw a 4 foot long Hammerhead shark cruising just under the surface. We couldn’t tell for sure if he was a “smooth” or a “scalloped” Hammerhead…but he definitely was a Hammerhead!
Meanwhile, back at the Anaeho’omalu Bay, we dropped off our guests from the Whale Watch and turned right around to go back out on a Snorkel and Whale Watch Adventure Cruise. We had just left the bay when a pod of two whales surfaced. They were really active — pec slapping, and tail lobbing and even breaching. When this pod dove, they only spent 3 minutes underwater (maybe continuing their interactions below the surface?)…but we finally had to leave them so we could get in some snorkel time.
On our Whales and Cocktails at Sunset Cruise, we spotted a Humpback just north of the entrance to the harbor. We headed that way and were delighted when he spouted just 100 yards from us. This whale was doing very shallow dives (he only lifted his flukes a tiny bit when diving) and was up every 5 minutes. We paralleled him as he headed north for over an hour before we had to turn back to the harbor.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Research suggests that most Humpbacks who come to Hawaii don’t spend the entire winter with us. An average stay lasts between a month and 6 weeks. Possible exceptions to this rule include dominant males, who may spend more time here to optimize mating opportunities, and females who give birth after arriving in Hawaii. They might spend a little longer here so that their calves can grow large enough to successfully swim back to Alaska.