The surf was up but the winds were calm in Kawaihae on Monday morning for our Signature Whale Watch. We saw spouts from at least 8 different Humpbacks but it was one pod of 2 who really made our day. This pod surfaced not more than 30 feet from our idling boat FIVE different times. Each time they came up, they’d spout twice, turn slightly, and then one would arch his back as he dove, demonstrating why these whales are commonly called Humpbacks, and his partner would ever so slightly lift his flukes as they slipped under the surface for a 20 minute dive. We’re not quite sure why they were so interested in us…maybe they were listening to our on-board narration!
We found two Humpbacks just outside of the harbor on our Whales & Cocktails at Sunset Cruise. Of course they sounded before we could get to them, but we waited around in the area and were rewarded when they surfaced again just off our bow. After that, we headed south towards a pod of 3. They all sounded, but surfaced again after just 3 minutes. We watched them spout a few times and dive again…this time they stayed underwater 18 minutes, and by the time they all surfaced, we were 200 yards ahead of them.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: The smooth round flat spot we see on the water (see the photo above) after a whale dives is called the “footprint”. Whalers thought it was caused by oil from the whale’s skin calming the surface of the water, but water samples have proven that theory to be false. When a whale dives (or kicks just below the surface) his flukes break the surface tension of the water and creates a vertical wake, forming the circular footprint.