Hope you had a healthy, happy weekend. Here’s a recap of what we were up to.
- Guests on both of our Guaranteed Whale Watch Cruises on Friday morning spent time watching calm Humpbacks. On on our Wake Up with the Whales Cruise, we saw 3 different adult whales multiple times. Each was just surfacing, spouting, and diving. On our Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise we saw 9 different Humpbacks but spent most of our time watching two very calm Mom/Calf pods.
- On Friday’s Snorkel & Whale Watch Adventure Cruise we found a pod of Spinner Dolphins just north of Kiholo Bay. While we were watching them, we saw some commotion further out to sea, which turned out to be from a competitive pod of 3 or maybe 4 Humpbacks. These whales were chasing all over the place, and in the midst of the excitement we saw a great peduncle throw and 3 breaches from them (AND we were all looking in the correct direction when it happened). We could hardly believe it when after snorkeling we encountered a second pod of Spinner Dolphins right before we got to the bay.
- On Saturday’s Wake Up with the Whales Cruise, though we saw a few lone adult Humpbacks, we spent our cruise watching Momma Humpback and her calf. They were just milling about, and we saw baby dive down to his Mom many, many times, They changed directions a lot too, and we wondered whether their swimming patterns were dictated by the restless calf. We got an opportunity to deploy our hydrophone, and the whales we were listening to must have been very close by.
- On Saturday’s Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise we headed north and found whales way up the coastline. Besides watching a few whales spout and sound, we spotted a breaching whale from about 800 yards. Of course we tried to get closer, and saw a couple more breaches as we were underway, but he stopped breaching before we got to that 100 yard mark. When we deployed the hydrophone during this cruise, we heard plenty of loud and clear whale voices. On the way back to the harbor, we saw a couple of other whales spouting and sounding.
- Guests on Sunday’s Wake Up with the Whales Cruise saw 6 different Humpbacks. The most unusual thing we saw was a Humpback with his head and pectoral flippers underwater, lifting the rest of his body straight up in the air, holding that position for longer than it seemed possible. Later, we deployed the hydrophone and heard some very new and very loud sounds. Less than a minute after the sounds stopped, our upside down whale (we recognized his fluke pattern) surfaced and spouted just 20 yards from us before sounding again. After that, we headed north and found a pair of whales spouting near Honoko’opae Bay. After they sounded, we began cruising back to the bay, and were completely surprised when this pair surfaced, and spouted about 40 feet from our 5:00, and then spouted again about 20 feet from our 3:00 before doing weird twisty dives towards each other and sounding.
- Finally, on Sunday’s Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise, we saw some spouts and some far-away breaching, but spent most of our time watching a Mom/Calf duo. Baby was bobbing around at the surface almost constantly, and we saw quite a bit of Mom too. Each time she sounded, she barely lifted her flukes, but we could see the almost all-white pattern on the ventral side her tail. Baby came over to investigate us a couple of times, surfacing right behind our stern, and then again, just 20 feet off our bow. We deployed the hydrophone during this cruise and heard many loud and clear whale voices.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: On Saturday’s Cruise, I promised some guests that I’d post the in-depth story about the “Whale Meat Luncheon of February, 1918”. Back then, in an effort to stockpile more beef, mutton and pork to send to the American troops fighting the 1st World War, the US government decided to sponsor what they called, a “Conservation Luncheon” at the American Museum of National History in New York featuring Humpback Whale meat. Several dignitaries were invited (including Admiral Peary) to feast on the menu created by the Head Chef of Delmonico’s, and were quoted saying the meat tasted like pot roast or venison. During the luncheon, the museum’s “reliable sources” reported that if all of the 7 operational whaling stations on the Pacific Coast began processing whale for food (instead of for fertilizer), more than 20 million pounds of whale meat could be distributed to the American public during the summer months alone at a cost of 12.5 cents/pound (which is about $2.39/pound in 2020 dollars). The idea never really caught on with the American public though. If you’d like to see the menu, enlarge the image above.