Guests on our final-day-of-February Cruises got to see lots of Humpbacks. On our Mid-Morning Cruise, we spent most of our time with a very cooperative Mom/Baby/Escort pod. Baby was on the surface a lot, exploring his world. We didn’t see as much of Mom or the Escort, but they each surfaced to spout and sound every once in awhile (of course we didn’t see Mom’s flukes…she just slipped under the water, making much shallower dives than her Escort) We also saw lots of different Humpbacks breaching on the outside…but the wind was blowing, so we didn’t want to venture far from shore to see them a bit more closely.
Later, we operated a private dedicated Educational Whale Watch from Kawaihae for the keiki and parents of the ‘Ohana Home School Cooperative. The kids enjoyed watching a Mom/Baby/Escort pod – based on location, relative sizes of the baby and Mom, and markings on the Escort’s flukes, we’re pretty sure it was the same three-some we had been watching on that first cruise. Again, we didn’t see any wild surface displays from the three of them, but we did see plenty of breaching from other whales who were offshore in deeper water (and higher winds).
Have a great weekend. I’ll send out a recap of our weekend sightings on Monday.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: In 2014, researchers published results of a study identifying the core bacterial communities living on Humpbacks’ skin regardless of which ocean the whales inhabit. Though they aren’t sure exactly how these bacteria interact with the whales, it is possible that the bacteria may be the reason the skins of the whales don’t get overwhelmed with organisms (the way boat hulls do). Also, by identifying the bacteria living on healthy whales, the researchers may have a new way to identify stressed and less healthy whales (by comparing the types of bacterial colonies from skin samples). In case you’re curious, the bacteria are Tenacibaculum and Psychrobacter