The theme for Thursday’s Whale Watch Cruises was Mom Humpbacks and their babies.
Guests on our Wake Up with the Whales Cruise got to see a dozen different Humpbacks. We spent most of our time watching a mom and her calf calmly surfacing, spouting, and diving. The ocean seemed to wake up though, when a couple of whales pretty far from us started breaching. That seemed to affect a couple of other whales that were closer to us, and they started breaching too. And then Mom and her baby got excited…baby must have breached 8 times next to us, and we saw two full breaches from Mom. We also got a couple of chances during this cruise to deploy our hydrophone, and each time we heard some very loud and very clear Humpback voices.
Guests on our Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise from Kawaihae also spent considerable time with a Mom/Calf duo. These two were cruising around seemingly randomly, surprising us several times when they surfaced in directions where we weren’t prepared to see them (though their swimming patterns might have made much more sense to them than they did to us). Mom was fairly small for an adult Humpback, and every time she dove, she lifted her flukes, showing us an almost all-white pattern on the ventral side of her tail. We remarked how interesting it was to see Mom’s flukes since “tail up” usually indicates the beginning of a longer deeper dive, and we know that moms generally won’t leave their calves…but this mom was on a short dive cycle, so we’re guessing she also wasn’t diving deeply despite her flukes-up diving posture. While we were watching these two, we got an opportunity to deploy the hydrophone, and we heard whales, but they were pretty far from us. Towards the end of the cruise, we saw several breaches from one, or possibly two Humpbacks who were about 3/4 of a mile from us in shallower water near Spencer Beach.
Have a fun weekend. I’ll post a recap of our sightings on Monday.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Being mammals, Humpback moms feed their calves milk. But Humpback milk isn’t just any old milk — it’s extremely rich with a fat content of approximately 50%! Human milk contains only about 4.5% fat. Supposedly, Humpback milk tastes like “sweetened cod liver oil” …but I’m going to have to rely on what I read to verify that description!