I was looking through our Humpback sightings records from last year at this time…based on what we’ve been seeing this year, it’s really difficult to believe that our sightings were so few and far between in March 2018, that we ended our Whale Watch Season on March 31st. What a difference a year makes!
Guests on Thursday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise saw evidence (spouts, dorsal fins, and/or flukes) of 8 different Humpbacks. At one point we had a solo whale on the surface off our starboard rail, and another solo whale on the surface off our port rail. We hadn’t maneuvered Seasmoke between a pod…so it was just a happy coincidence that guests on both sides of the boat had something to look at. When we deployed the hydrophone, we heard singing but none of the singers were very close to us.
On our Mid-Morning Cruise we found the biggest calf our on-board naturalist Greg had ever seen. This “baby” was easily 20 feet long, but his Momma was pretty big too. Baby had some energy to burn and seemed to be in “practice-mode”. First, we watched him do so many peduncle throws and tail lobs that no one could keep count. When he finally stopped, we all figured he was too tuckered out to do anything but rest…boy, were we wrong. After about 10 minutes, he started breaching over and over and over again, at one point coming within 20 feet of our stern (and Mom was even closer). When he finished breaching practice, it was time for pec-slap practice. We watched him rolling around and pec-slapping too many times to count too. For those of us who could tear our eyes away from all this action, we also got to see some whales breaching in the distance. And when we deployed the hydrophone we heard at least two whales singing…one was pretty faint but the other was louder and closer by (not loud enough or close enough to be the escort for our Mom and calf though).
Have a great weekend…I’ll send our next report out on Monday.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Those lines we see under the Humpback’s mouth (see today’s image) are actually pleats that allow for the expansion of her mouth when she feeds. This expansion, combined with her ability to flex her jaws, allows her to hold up to 15,000 gallons of sea water in her mouth at one time — that’s the equivalent of 160,000 cans of Diet Pepsi (or Budweiser) in every gulp — of course, she doesn’t swallow the water she gulps…just the unlucky fish (and occasional bird) that had been swimming in it.