It was still pretty windy up in Kawaihae during Monday’s Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise, but luckily we found a very active, kind of small (35′) lone Humpback just outside of the harbor. Though we saw spouts from other whales here and there, this guy captured our attention for pretty much the entire time we were out. We saw lots and lots of pec slaps and tail lobs from this whale, and he even breached one time just about 60 yards from us. He was at our 9:00 when he did it…and most of us were looking at our 12:00, but with all the excited shouts from our guests when he began the breach, most of us caught at least the tail-end of it. Since we never saw any evidence of other close-by whales, we really can only speculate what all the surface activity was about…maybe our whale was communicating location/health to other underwater whales further away….or maybe he was communicating to us. Or, perhaps he was just burning off some frustration-type energy (after all, it is mating season, and from what we could tell, he wasn’t accompanied by any other whales).
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: When a Humpback spouts, he’s exhaling in a half of a second, 90% of the volume of air in his lungs. It’s enough air in one blow to fill up the interior of a stretch limousine. In case you’re curious, when an average size human adult exhales, he takes 3 times as long to exhale just 15% of the volume of air in his lungs — and an adult human exhalation wouldn’t even fill up a Smart Car — it’s only enough air to fill up a lunch bag.