Did you see any Humpbacks this past weekend? Guests cruising with us sure did! Here are some highlights:
- On Friday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise, we saw multiple breaches (around a dozen) from various whales around us. We also watched 3 different pods of two sub-adult whales all in the same vicinity, doing basically the same activities — lots of pectoral slaps, and even a double breach followed by a single breach, and miraculously, we were all looking the right direction to see those breaches.
- The wind was coming up as we departed on Friday’s Snorkel and Whale Watch Adventure Cruise, so we decided to postpone the snorkeling for awhile and get out to watch the whales before the seas got really bumpy. Again we saw lots of breaching from whales all around us, and also several pectoral slaps. Were all the whales excited by the windy surface conditions? It sure seemed like it to us.
- Guests on Saturday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise got to see breaches before we even left the mooring. Of course we headed towards those whales as soon as we could, but by the time we got to them they had quieted down, so we turned towards a pod of two whales who were pec slapping (at one point, simultaneously). While we were watching them, a different pod of two breached simultaneously on the other side of the boat — and then we noticed a third whale surfacing near our pec slappers. These three were soon joined by a fourth whale as they headed at a good clip to the south. On the way back to the bay we were surprised by a pod of two whales who surfaced and spouted maybe 30 yards from us at our 9:00.
- Guests on Saturday’s Mid-Morning Cruise saw at least a dozen different Humpbacks, but we spent most of our time watching a pod of two. We paralleled these whales as they surfaced, spouted and sounded several times, giving us great views of their heads, dorsal fins, and peduncles.
- We operated a Private Whale Watch Cruise on Saturday from Anaeho’omalu Bay, and though the wind was coming up, we still got to see quite a bit. Besides seeing lots of breaching in the distance, we had three close encounters: one was with a pod of two who surfaced at our 9:00 just about 30 yards from us and spouted a couple of times before sounding; the next was with a single whale who surfaced at our 11:00 just about 15 yards from us, spouted once, and then did a weird twisty kind of dive as he headed back underwater; and the last one was with a pod of two who surfaced and spouted at our 1:00 before sounding.
- We operated two cruises from Kawaihae on Sunday. Guests on the Mid-Morning Cruise got to spend considerable time with a Mom/Baby/Escort trio. The baby was burning off some energy, and we got to see multiple breaches, a few tail lobs and even a cute little peduncle throw from him (maybe it was his version of a throwing a tantrum). Mom was on the surface a bit, but in the time we were there, we only saw that Escort twice. We also got to hear some great sounds through our hydrophone, and even got to hang out with a pod of interested Spinner Dolphins near the mouth of the harbor. We went out on a Private Whale Watch Cruise right afterwards as a fundraiser for the West Hawaii Clinic. We found a Mom/Baby/Escort pod again (probably the same one we had seen on the first cruise). The Escort was rarely on the surface, but we did get quite a few glimpses of Mom and her baby. We also saw lots of breaches and spouts in the distance.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Humpbacks have big brown eyes…the size of grapefruits. But, how well do they see through them?…and how would we determine that anyway? Stay tuned! We’ll explain what we know in an upcoming post!