We were met with drizzly weather on Tuesday, but since we didn’t see any lightening or dangerous conditions anywhere around us, and since our guests wanted to go whale watching, we decided to give it a go…and we’re glad we did! We ended up heading south out of the bay on our Wake up with the Whales Cruise. During the course of the cruise we saw 8 different Humpbacks. Two different times we were approached closely by pods of two (different pods too) giving everyone aboard nice views of their spouts, dorsal fins, and flukes, while they, most certainly, got nice views of us.
On our Mid-Morning Cruise from Kawaihae, we got to spend some time watching a competitive pod shoving each other around at the surface. Later in the cruise, we encountered Mom Humpback and her baby. We didn’t see an Escort with them, but he may have been lurking below.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: All mammals have hair. Humpback Whales are mammals… so where is their hair? Humpbacks have rows of bumps on their chins that we call “tubercles”. Out of each one, sticks a hair that’s about 1/2 inch long that we call a “vibrissa”. Because there’s a nerve ending underneath each hair, and blood flow to the nerve, we know the whales use these hairs to sense something…but we’re not sure what they’re sensing. Quite likely, they use their hairs like cats use their whiskers – for proprioception…or perhaps these hairs work in a coordinated fashion with sensory organs in their chins, helping the whales to know when to effectively open and close their mouths around schools of prey.