We only operated one Whale Watch Cruise on Tuesday…our Wake up with the Whales Cruise.
As we left Anaeho’omalu Bay just after 8:00 AM, we took a right turn and headed to the north. But we weren’t really seeing anything (besides the great views of the coastline) so after about 30 minutes, Captain Baker decided to loop the Seasmoke back to the south, and we’re glad he did! As we gazed down the coastline towards the airport, we were excited to see a spout off-shore of Ke’awa’iki (which is just a couple miles south of Anaeho’omalu Bay).
We picked up the speed and got to the area in time to watch this lone whale spout a couple of times and then sound, and when he did, we glanced at the time. 8 minutes later he was back at the surface, and we watched him spout 4 more times before diving. This time, we had a pretty good idea when to expect him at the surface again…and yep…8 minutes later, there he was. We watched him spout 3 times before he took a dive. We were able to wait around an additional 8 minutes in order to greet our Humpback friend one more time as he came to the surface, spouted 4 times and sounded again. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time left in the charter to see if he’d keep to his diving and surfacing cycle, so we bid him Aloha and headed back to the bay.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: If you clicked on the photo I included with yesterday’s Humpback update, you probably were very confused by the link. That’s because I originally intended to share one of my favorite whale stories with you. But then I was texted that great whale breach photo from the Monday Signature Whale Watch and decided to share it with you instead. When I updated my photo and subsequently, my “Fact of the Day”, I forgot to update my link.
Anyway, if you click on today’s photo, it will all make sense…and here’s the story to go with the photo:
In the 1890′s, a whaler with very pale and mottled skin by the name of James Bartley claimed that he had been swallowed by a Sperm Whale. He said that he had been pursuing the whale off the coast of the Falkland Islands when he was thrown from his boat, and that after searching for him for a short while, his shipmates gave up on finding him, presuming he was lost at sea.
Two days after he went missing, his fellow crew members on his ship, “The Star of the East” killed a Sperm whale, and lo and behold — they found Bartley in the whale’s stomach! Supposedly, Bartley was a “raving lunatic” for several weeks, but then recovered enough to remember the experience — enough that he was able to make a modest living travelling with an exhibit of a stuffed Sperm Whale. Bartley claimed his skin appeared the way it did due to permanent damage caused by the whale’s gastric juices during the two days he spent inside the whale’s stomach.
At the time, the story of this “modern day Jonah” was very popular in religious tracts and broadcasts, but it has since been debunked. Besides the obvious fact that it wouldn’t be possible to live inside a live Sperm Whale for two days, Bartley’s supposed ship, “The Star of the East” wasn’t even a whaling boat! And even it had been a renegade whaling ship, there was no record of a James Bartley even working on board. Even James’ wife claimed the story was “a good yarn”.