The southwesterly winds started blowing during our Thursday Wake up with the Whales Cruise (and that makes for rough seas), but the Humpbacks seemed to love it!
There were spouts (and rainbows) in every direction we looked during the entire time we were out to sea. In the beginning of the cruise we found ourselves virtually surrounded by different competitive pods of whales. We got to see 8 breaches from one whale about 100 yards from us, as well as tail lobbing, pec slaps and more breaches from many, many more whales. The rain came and went throughout the cruise, but it was a really wonderful adventure.
The weather filled in up in Kawaihae just as we left for our Signature Whale Watch, and the whales seemed to be reacting to the blustery weather during this cruise too. We saw so many breaches that we lost count, but towards the end of the cruise some of our guests claimed we saw 20…and right after that we saw another, so we’ll say we saw 21 breaches from various whales throughout the course of this trip. We also watched a competitive pod doing some tail lobs and weird twisty-turny kinds of dives as they fought against each other for dominance. And though we’re not completely sure, we may have encountered a Mom/Baby/Escort pod — the wind caused the spouts to dissipate quickly (especially the little spouts made by a calf), but we know we were looking at two big whales at the surface, and possibly got a glimpse of the calf.
Have a wonderful weekend. I’ll send out a recap of our adventures on Monday.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: One of the questions we get asked most frequently when we’re watching active whales splashing at the surface, is “Why are they doing that”? We’ve always guessed those splashes were some form of communication, and recently our theory was vindicated. Researchers watching Humpbacks off of Australia observed that breaching occurred most frequently when other whales were about 2 1/2 miles away, and repetitive tail and flipper slapping occurred most often just before new whales joined or left a pod. They also observed all these behaviors more often when it was windy (we’ve observed this today on our morning cruises too)! So…creating a big splash may be a Humpback’s way to say “Hey — Guys — I’m over here! C’mon over (or Don’t Go)! I’m excited, I’m tough, I’m irritated…”.