After leaving the harbor on Thursday’s Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise, we took a turn to port. We weren’t even all the way off shore of the Mauna Kea Beach Resort when we were approached by a 30-35 foot lone Humpback. This whale must have found us as fascinating as we found him, as he spent over an hour playing with us. Not only did he spy-hop right next to us to check us out, but he even splashed us a couple of times with his huge pectoral flippers. I know I’ve mentioned before that Humpbacks have the longest pectoral flippers of any of the great whales, but it’s really difficult to appreciate just how long they are until the whale is right next to you, waving his big flippers in the air. The length and interesting shape of Humpbacks’ flippers are really inspirational…see today’s Fact of the Day for just one example of what I mean.
Have a wonderful weekend…I’ll send out our customary “Weekend Whale Watching Recap” on Monday.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: In 2004, a company called Whale Power was founded by Dr. Frank Fish, Dr. Phil Watts and Stephen Dewar. The company builds windmill fan blades shaped like a Humpback’s Pectoral Fins with tubercles on the leading edge. The ironically named Dr.Fish was inspired to develop the prototype after looking at a sculpture of a Humpback, and pondering how (or if) the bumps on the front of the whale’s fins would help him move efficiently through the water. He and his partners enlisted the help of the Navy and used their wind tunnel to discover that tubercles break up air (or water flow)…and now with the whale-inspired design, Whale Power’s turbine blades are not only more efficient than smooth blades, but they never stall out violently like smooth blades do, and thus don’t damage the turbine engines. The company’s motto… “A Million Years of Field Tests”. Want to learn more about this technology? Click here.