Both of our guaranteed morning Whale Watch Cruises departed from Anaeho’omalu on Tuesday, so we were able to “share” some of our whale sightings.
On Seasmoke’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise, we spent a good 20 minutes looking around for whales to our north before finally deciding to stop and deploy our hydrophone. We could just barely hear the whale songs even after cranking up the volume, so we decided to pull it back up and change directions…and boy, was that a good decision.
We saw spouts from a lone whale who was heading south, and we paralleled him for awhile, watching him surface every 5 minutes or so. After watching him, we saw what we thought was a pod of Spinner Dolphins further down the coast. As we approached, we realized we were wrong…we were actually seeing splashes from a Humpback calf who was breaching and porpoising and head lunging and tail lobbing and generally just having a heck of a good time on the surface. While we were stopped and watching this little guy we deployed the hydrophone again, and this time, we heard the loudest, clearest whale songs we’ve heard all season. We were having so much fun that we ended up staying out an extra 25 minutes before we reluctantly had to leave the whales to return to Anaeho’omalu.
We left the bay on Manu Iwa for our Mid-Morning Cruise before Seasmoke had even returned from the Wake Up with the Whales Cruise so we knew EXACTLY where to go to see Humpbacks. Baby whale was still really active on the surface when we arrived, and we got to see lots of breaching from this little guy. While watching this tiny calf expending all that energy, we started wondering if they were the same Mom/Baby pair we had encountered on Monday’s Pau Hana Sunset Cruise. They were the same relative sizes, and it’s possible they could have stuck around the Kohala Coast overnight. Unfortunately we never got a good view of Mom’s flukes, so we didn’t have much information for a positive identification. When we deployed our hydrophone we got to listen to those same loud and clear whale songs that guests on our Wake Up Cruise heard a bit earlier.
Mahalo and Mele Kalikimaka!
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: You may have heard that Humpback Whales are no longer on the Endangered Species List…but don’t worry, they’re still protected. In autumn 2017, after researchers were able to determine that the global population of Humpbacks is actually 14 distinct populations, NOAA removed “our” Humpbacks (and 8 other populations) from the list. In the United States, the protection Humpbacks receive under the Marine Mammal Protection Act has not changed. I’ll provide more info about this protection in a future post.