Wednesday was a spectacular day on the water. Guests on our Wake Up with the Whales Cruise didn’t go more than about 2 minutes at any one time during the entire cruise without seeing seeing a Humpback on the surface somewhere within about a mile and a half of us. We must have seen more than 30 different Humpbacks in the couple miles surrounding the bay (which sounds like it should be an exaggeration…but it isn’t). Of course we concentrated our efforts watching the whales that were in the 100 yard range (and there were plenty of them). Besides watching multiple spouts, dorsal fins, peduncle arches, and fluke dives from different adult Humpbacks, we also got to watch a Mom/Baby/Escort pod for awhile. Later, we watched a competitive pod pushing each other around on the surface…and as they were following a Mom/Calf pod, we also got to see Mom insert herself between the amorous males, and her calf. When we lowered the hydrophone, the songs we heard were very loud…so we know there were some singers in our area too.
On the way to the snorkel site during our Snorkel & Whale Watch Adventure Cruise, we got to see several Humpbacks spouting, and a Mom/Baby pod cruising along the surface. Then we got surrounded by a pod of fairly lazy Spinner Dolphins (though we did see a couple of eponymous maneuvers from a few of the Spinners on the edges of the pod). After snorkeling as we were pulling the sails for the trip back to the bay, we saw a baby whale breach…followed almost immediately by Mom’s breach. Since baby had gotten our attention, everyone aboard was looking in the right direction to see that big breach. We were only about 100 yards from Mom when she breached and as the two of them continued down the coastline, we realized they were being followed by two escorts. The escorts were fighting among themselves…we got to see a couple of head raises from the one closest to Mom…and a lot of commotion on the water as the two escorts sorted out their status. And as if all that wasn’t enough to keep us busy, the pod of Spinners cruised by us again, this time heading in the opposite direction…but they seemed like they were on a mission and they didn’t stop to play with us.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Though it’s difficult to believe, until just a few days ago, no one had EVER seen a Humpback whale giving birth. Everything changed on February 3rd though, when a pregnant Humpback began circling a zodiac off the coast of Maui, and the people aboard had an underwater video camera. Click on the photo above to read the story and see the video. Incredible!