We have lots to report from our weekend of whale watching, so I’ll get right to it.
On Friday, we ran only one dedicated Whale Watch Cruise…our Wake up with the Whales Cruise. Guests joining us got to see 7 different whales…which was the greatest number of Humpbacks we’ve seen on one cruise so far this season! At one point we had 2 pods of two surrounding us, and got to see lots of spouting from both pods. Later, we watched a whale lift his flukes and dive, followed very quickly by a pod of two who were spouting at the surface, followed by a lone whale spouting well behind us….so we may have witnessed a pod of 3 splitting apart. On the way to our snorkel site during Friday’s Snorkel & Whale Watch Adventure Cruise, we got to watch a pair of whales spout several times, and then lift their flukes simultaneously for their joint sounding dive. And on Friday’s Pau Hana Sunset Cruise, guests saw 8 different Humpbacks (breaking our morning record for highest number of whales seen on a single cruise this season). We spent most of our time watching a Mom/calf pair who stayed about 100 yards from us, and a pod of two mature whales who were also cruising around on the surface closer to shore.
On Saturday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise, our first sightings were of a Mom/Calf pair. After watching them for awhile, we saw another blow on the other side of the boat, so we left Mom with her baby to go see if we could find the lone spouter. After waiting around for a bit, we saw yet another blow a bit further to our north, so we went to check that whale out, but eventually we just had to see what Mom and her baby were up to, so we headed back to them. Both were on the surface quite a bit, so we got to really see the difference between baby’s breath and Mom’s breath. Guests on our Mid-Morning Cruise got to see two different whales. While we were watching the closer of the two, the one further out took a sounding dive, so we took the opportunity to deploy our hydrophone. The sounds we heard were very loud and clear, so we’re pretty sure our further-out whale was the singer. On our Pau Hana Sunset Cruise we also got to see two different Humpbacks and one of them decided to make his presence known by multiple pectoral slaps.
We left the bay under beautiful, calm conditions for Sunday’s Wake Up with the Whales Cruise, and quickly found a Mom/Baby pod. Baby was tiny and on the surface a lot. We stayed with these two whales for most of the cruise, and were very lucky to see Mom breach just about 100 yards from us. Coincidentally, we were all looking in the right direction when it happened, so a number of our guests got the breach on camera (here’s hoping someone will share it with us)! Finally, we began our Mid-Morning Cruise watching a big pod of Spinner Dolphins. While we were watching them, we saw a pair of big spouts, so we headed over to where those whales were. As we were waiting for them to surface after sounding, we saw a spout from a lone adult Humpback, and then saw another spout from another lone Humpback. But we stuck with our pair of whales, and got quite a few views of these big whales before we had to head back to the harbor.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: According to the experts at NOAA, in 1966 when commercial whaling was finally banned, the Humpback population in the North Pacific was estimated to be fewer than 1400 individuals.