The ocean looked like glass when we left Anaeho’omalu Bay at 8:00 AM for our Sunday Wake Up With the Whales Cruise. When the seas are that calm, we can head in any direction and we were just debating which way to go when we spotted a spout a little bit to our south, outside of the Pentagon dive mooring (which is about a mile offshore).
Of course we turned to port, and we all got to see the whale spout once more before she sounded. Since we were almost at the place where the whale took that dive anyway, we stopped the boat, and 15 minutes later, this lone sub-adult surfaced, spouted 5 times, and sounded again. We waited around some more, and after 15 minutes she surfaced in about the same place as she was before…about 100 yards from us…spouted 5 times, and dove again.
We were pretty sure we had determined her established dive pattern, and figured we’d need to wait another 15 minutes before seeing her again, but Humpbacks do their own things…and in 7 minutes she surprised us by surfacing, spouting several times, and diving again. We still had some time left in the cruise, so we waited for her to surface, expecting her to show up in 7 minutes…but 7 minutes went by, and then 10 minutes…and finally at the 15 minute mark she rose to the surface, spouted 4 times, and sounded, barely lifting her flukes out of the water.
Since we aren’t running a lot of dedicated Whale Watch Cruises this week, look for the next report mid-week.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: A fully grown Humpback Whale can hold his or her breath for around 45 minutes. Usually, that’s not what we observe in Hawaii though. We’re more likely to witness 10-20 minute breath hold dives like we did today, and if the whale is really active, s/he surfaces to breathe a lot more frequently.