We found a pod of two adult Humpbacks cruising pretty quickly up the coast on Thursday’s Wake Up with the Whales Cruise. We paralleled them for awhile, until they led us to a Mom/Calf pair. These two seemed a lot calmer than our first two whales, so we decided to hang around and see what would happen. Baby appeared to be interested in the boat, and he kept trying to lead his Momma closer and closer to investigate us. But Mom was in a protective mode, and though they both surfaced close by to us a bunch of times, she eventually decided enough was enough, and directed him away. Meanwhile, when we glanced away from these two, we saw lots of spouting, and lots of flukes from sounding Humpbacks in all directions further away from us.
We ran two cruises on Alala from Kawaihae. Guests on our Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise spent some quality time with Momma Humpback and her calf. Baby was up on the surface a lot, and though we didn’t see Mom quite as often, when she did come up to breathe, her spouts were quite impressive. We got a chance to lower the hydrophone during this cruise and got to hear some great sounds from close-by whales. After this cruise deboarded, we reboarded with a group of 3rd graders from HPA, their parents, and a few teachers for a dedicated Educational Whale Watch Cruise. I know I’ve said this before, but when we have a boat-load full of keiki, and all that keiki energy, it seems like the whales respond to it. Today was no exception… spent most of our time with that Mom/Calf pod, but this time, they were much more active on the surface. We even got to see 6 full breaches about 100 yards away from us.
Have a fun weekend. I’ll post a recap of our weekend whale sightings on Monday.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Though we’ve mentioned before that only male Humpback Whales “sing”, all Humpbacks make noises and apparently use these sounds to communicate with each other. Researchers have witnessed cooperative feeding behaviors among the Humpbacks apparently “triggered” by sound, and have also witnessed Humpback Cows (moms) apparently ignoring some sounds made by their calves, but responding immediately when the calves made particular grunting noises accompanied by jaw claps or bubble blowing. So it appears that Mom both recognizes and responds to her baby’s voice! You can read more about this research here.