Our week started off with a bang! We headed north out of Kawaihae Harbor on Monday’s Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise, and it wasn’t too loo long before we saw a spout below Kohala Ranch. This lone whale took a dive before we could get to her, but Captain Kino positioned the boat and stopped about 100 yards from where he thought the whale was when she had last been on the surface.
After about 25 minutes, our whale surfaced right where Kino thought we’d see her. We watched her spout a few times and then the whale lifted her flukes and sounded. Since we hadn’t seen any other spouts around us, we decided to wait her out. We kept checking our watches (well…most of us don’t wear watches anymore, so we were checking the time on our phones), and at the 25 minute mark, our whale surfaced again for a couple more cleansing breaths before lifting her flukes and making another dive. We stayed where we were, and 17 minutes later the whale surfaced again, surprising us all (we thought we’d be waiting another 8 minutes before seeing her). We got to hang around for two more surface/spout/dive cycles, and then we had to head back to the harbor.
Meanwhile, at Anaeho’omalu Bay (which is really just about 10 miles from the harbor), the weather was completely different. The trades winds were howling as we left the bay on our Snorkel & Whale Watch Adventure Cruise. When the winds blow like that, the only safe snorkel spot is to our north near the Mauna Lani golf course (the site we call “6th Hole”), so Captain Baker took a right hand turn out of the bay. As we were motoring into the wind, both he and Maika saw a suspicious splash…but those strong trade winds meant we couldn’t get close enough to investigate the whale (or whales) making the surface ruckus.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Though they look inflexible, a Humpback’s flukes (the wide part of his tail) contains no bones…just cartilage. When the whale is born, the sides of his flukes are curled up so he can slide more easily out of mom’s birth canal.