We had some interesting experiences during Friday’s Wake Up with the Whales Cruise. Our first sightings were of a pod of three whales, but one of them peeled off before we got very close to them. The other two started heading south, so we stuck with them. Initially they were on the surface every 3 minutes, and then they began doing 7 minute dives before they disappeared from sight completely. We stopped the boat and waited for them to surface, taking the opportunity to listen to whales communicating with each other through our hydrophone. We eventually gave up on ever seeing our pod of two again, so we pulled up the hydrophone and began to motor away. Just as we did that, one of “our” two whales breached only about 75 yards from us…and then both of them started charging right towards us. Captain Ryan angled the boat so they’d swim past us, and we watched as they cruised right down the side of the boat and continued on to where ever it was that they had decided it was important to go.
On the way to our snorkel site during our Snorkel & Whale Watch Adventure Cruise, we got a chance to spend some time with a Mom/calf pod. Baby was making 5 minute dives, and we saw him twice before Mom finally surfaced with him (and they were pretty close to the boat at that point too). The wind kicked up for our trip back to the bay after snorkeling, so we got some nice sailing time. We saw a few whales here and there as we sailed the coastline, and were greeted by two breaches (maybe 3 — we might not have been looking in the right direction to see that first one) right before we got to the mouth of Anaeho’omalu.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: To our untrained ears, the sounds we hear from our hydrophones sound pretty random, though we have noticed the lack of certain phrases this year that we heard fairly often last year, and some completely new sounds this year that we never heard last year. According to a paper published in the journal Current Biology, it turns out that our ears aren’t so untrained after all. Researchers have documented that the Humpback songs in the South Pacific are actually changing really quickly. Over the last decade, completely new song themes are appearing within a season. The researchers compared the radical evolution of the Humpbacks’ songs to human musical composition, suggesting that the themes are so novel; it’s as if whole new human musical genres were appearing that no one had ever heard just a few years ago.