Hope your weekend was as fun as ours. Here are a few highlights from our cruises:
- Friday’s Wake Up with the Whales Cruise began with some very close-by (about 30 yards away) sightings of a Mom Humpback and her small calf. While we were watching them, we saw some commotion ahead of us, which turned out to be caused by a pod of 5 whales. As soon as we arrived in their area, the pod broke up, surrounding us as they swam right past the boat. On our way back to the bay at the end of the cruise, we saw several breaches on the outside from other adult whales.
- Guests on Friday’s Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise spent some time waiting for a whale to surface who was on 25 minute dive cycles. We saw him on the surface 3 different times, but in between sightings our depth finder alarm sounded a couple of times as he cruised just 25 feet and then 75 below us. At the end of the cruise, we found ourselves “mugged” by a pod of two whales. One of them had very white pectoral flippers, so he was easy to spot as he swam right below the surface at our bow, and then again at our stern.
- As we were getting out of the water during Friday’s Snorkel & Whale Watch Adventure we saw some commotion just outside of our snorkel site, so as soon as everyone was aboard, we dropped our mooring and went out to investigate. It turned out that we were watching a competitive pod of 3 or 4 whales, and we were able to parallel them as they cruised up the coastline. It didn’t take them long before they made a 90 degree turn and crossed our bow. After that, we lost sight of them in the wind and white caps.
- On Saturday, those trade winds were blowing too strong to run our Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise from Kawaihae, but we were able to get out on Seasmoke for our Wake Up with the Whales Cruise. Guests joining us on this cruise saw a few whales spouting (though the spouts dissipated really quickly in the wind), and a few flukes as the whales sounded. We also got to see some complete breaches from whales just about 200 yards from us.
- Guests on Sunday’s Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise got a couple of close-up views of a Mom/Calf/Escort pod. Since Mom showed her flukes when she dove, we think we may have recognized her as the same Mom we saw on Thursday (with her calf)…though on Thursday, we didn’t see an escort. At one point, baby surfaced just 30 feet off our port bow. Immediately after this cruise de-baorded, we re-boarded and went out again on a Fund-Raising Whale Watch Cruise for the West Hawaii Mediation Center. While raising funds for a great organization, guests on this cruise saw a pod of Spinner Dolphins just south of Hapuna Beach Resort (which is kind of an unusual location for us to find them). After watching the dolphins play and spin and flip for awhile, we found the Mom and calf we had seen on the first cruise still near the Mauna Kea Resort, so we turned north and watched them for a few dive cycles before heading back to the harbor.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Where do the Humpbacks go when they migrate away from Hawaii? Most of them appear to migrate directly north, to feeding grounds off of northern British Columbia and southeastern Alaska waters. But they can migrate to just about any location round the Pacific Rim — one humpback satellite-tagged in Hawaii spent the summer in Russian waters.