It was windy now and then during Thursday’s Whales & Cocktails at Sunset Cruise, but we got great views of a Mom/Calf/Escort pod. They were moving around quite a bit, and since all Humpbacks – even calves – spend a lot of their lives underwater, they weren’t nearly as affected by wind gusts as we were. We also saw several other adult whales spouting and sounding, but we didn’t really want to venture into that wind to get closer views.
Have a wonderful weekend. I’ll send out my next report on Monday!
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: The gestation period for a Humpback whale is about 11 months, which means the calves we’re seeing this year were conceived last winter. We can only estimate gestation because oddly, researchers have never observed the same female mating and then giving birth (in fact, there has never been documented observation of humpback copulation or calving at all)! The prevalence of drone technology is getting us closer to documenting these events though. Just over two weeks ago, University of Hawaii researchers using their drones to study other humpbacks offshore of Maui got a call from a local tour operator about a lot of splashing they were seeing near an adult Humpback. The researchers got their drone in place in time to see a newborn calf, just minutes after her birth, complete with a very floppy dorsal fin and curled tail flukes. You can see the video by clicking here.