Lots to report from our weekend of whale watching, so I’ll stick to the highlights:
- We woke up to a windy morning outside of Anaeho’omalu Bay on Friday, but since the conditions were safe, and our guests were interested in joining us, we ran our Wake Up with the Whales Cruise. Besides the breaching whales we saw taunting us in the distance (it was too windy to head out to sea to check them out), we did see whales close by several times. Once we were surprised by a whale who spouted about 50 yards from us, and later we got to watch a different Humpback cross our bow about 40 yards away, followed by a surprise sighting of a whale about 60 yards off our stern. Towards the end of the cruise, we watched another Humpback pec slapping for awhile just outside of the bay.
- At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it was windy on Saturday morning for our Wake up with the Whales Cruise, but this time the wind seemed to excite the whales, as we saw lots of interesting surface activities. The cruise began with some pec slapping from an adult Humpback. Then we got to watch Mom whale with her energetic calf (that calf breached at least 8 times while we watched). After that we saw lots of commotion from two other Humpbacks. We weren’t completely sure what they were doing to create all that splashing, but we did get to see 2 peduncle throws from one of them.
- Guests on Saturday’s Mid-Morning Cruise saw lots of blows from various Humpbacks all around us. Our closest encounter came towards the end of the cruise when a curious calf and her permissive mom made a pass by the boat.
- We spent most of Sunday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise watching a couple of different Mom/Baby pods. Our second Mom/Baby pod was accompanied by an Escort. Generally when we see this type of trio, it looks to us like Mom is trying to veer her calf away from the Escort. But today, we watched that big Escort surface several different times, heading away from Mom, and each time, she turned to follow him. We also saw a couple of different whales breaching 300 yards away, and lots and lots of spouts from other Humpbacks in various directions.
- It took awhile to find whales on our Sunday Mid-Morning Cruise. Sure, we were seeing spouts…but by the time we’d get to the area where the whales had been spouting, they were nowhere to be seen. Towards the end of the cruise, we were surprised when a Mom/Baby pod surfaced 50 yards from us. We were even more surprised when an Escort surfaced…and even more surprised when yet another whale surfaced fairly close by. We were kind of hoping this last whale would join the others, but after they sounded, he turned towards the boat and then he dove. Unfortunately, we were running out of time, so we couldn’t stick around to see if those Escorts got into any kind of a competition.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Most Humpbacks are “right-handed”. Researchers looking at abrasions on Humpbacks’ jaws found more abrasions on the right jaw than on the left, and observed more “flippering” with the right flipper than with the left, suggesting a definite right-side preference among the Humpback population.