When we departed Anaeho’omalu Bay for our one and only Whale Watch Cruise on Tuesday — our Wake Up with the Whales Cruise, it was breezy, but not terribly so. Just after exiting the bay, we saw spouts up to our north, so we turned to starboard and headed that way. We could see a wind line (indicating strong winds) in front of us — which meant we really didn’t want to get too far from home. As we were looking for that first whale, another whale spouted off our port side. After he sounded, we saw another pair of blows at our 12:00…but before we could get to where those whales were, the wind came up strong, and we turned the boat around and headed back to the bay. We ended up coming in a bit early (safety is our first priority), so though everyone aboard got to see 4 or maybe 5 different Humpbacks, and though everyone learned a lot from our head naturalist, Greg, we still thought it only fair that we offer everyone another cruise for no charge. Hopefully all of our guests will be able to join us again when this wind finally lays down! (Check out the image above for a view of the windy conditions INSIDE Kawaihae Harbor…and you’ll understand why we weren’t operating cruises from there)!
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: On our cruises we talk about (and try to listen to) the Humpbacks’ songs a lot, and though we’ve acknowledged that no one really knows why Humpbacks sing, we at least thought we understood the intricacies of song composition. But about 5 years ago researchers discovered a whole new layer of complexity to the Humpback song – very low frequency pulses (think of the way sound is reverberated through very loud bass speakers). So why are the whales producing these sounds? We aren’t completely sure. Since these sounds have been recorded when many males are chasing a single female, they may be part of the mating ritual. It’s even been theorized that the females are the ones who are producing these sounds — as a way to differentiate from the males “songs” … perhaps they are trying to communicate something to other females who are further away. If you’d like to read more about this low frequency sound and how it was discovered, click here.
If you’d like to listen to a little clip of the sound, click here. Unless you have very good speakers, your best bet to hear the sound clearly is to put on some headphones and listen for the heartbeat-like pulsing noise.