We hadn’t even left the bay on Wednesday’s Wake Up with the Whales Cruise when we spotted our first Humpbacks, so of course we headed their way. After stopping 100 yards from them, we watched this pair of whales surface, spout, and slip under the surface. In fact we watched them do this a couple of times, and they seemed so relaxed that we were pretty sure they were sleeping. The whales kept this behavior going as they drifted further away, and we were just about to turn from them when seemingly out of nowhere, they both breached right off our bow. After that craziness, we hung around for a few more moments (just in case they were planning another surprise for us) before we spotted a second pair of Humpbacks and headed over to them. And then we saw a third pair of spouters, so we went to check them out. We spent the rest of the cruise, bouncing back and forth between these 6 whales. As we made our final turn back to the bay, our first pair of whales approached us, circled twice, spouted heavily, and sounded. One of them waved his flukes in the air a few times, which we decided to interpret as his way of saying “Aloha”.
Guests on our Snorkel & Whale Watch Adventure Cruise saw whales both before and after snorkeling. On the way to the site, we saw a splash from a breach and then watched as the whale spouted and sounded. As we waited for him to surface again, we got a chance to deploy our hydrophone and heard some great whale songs. On the way back to the bay after snorkeling, we saw a whale a bit further out to sea breach several times, but by the time we got out to him, he must have exhausted himself because he wasn’t breaching anymore, so we continued to sail home.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: You may have heard that Humpback Whales are no longer on the Endangered Species List…but don’t worry, they’re still protected. In autumn 2016, after researchers were able to determine that the global population of Humpbacks is actually 14 distinct populations, NOAA removed “our” Humpbacks (and 8 other populations) from the list. In the United States, the protection Humpbacks receive under the Marine Mammal Protection Act has not changed. I’ll provide more info about this protection in the next Whale Report.