Guests on Thursday’s Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise saw 8 different Humpbacks. One of these whales breached twice…and we also saw about 5 half-breaches from another, all about 250 yards from us. When we deployed our hydrophone we heard lots of singing, and luckily for us, it was while our hydrophone was in the water that those near-by whales started breaching. We could actually hear the sounds of them hitting the surface of the ocean through our speakers as they landed after breaching…it was so loud we thought we’d blown a speaker!
We also took some folks out on a Private Whale Watch/Snorkel Cruise. Since the surf was up, we decided to travel down towards Kiholo Bay to do our snorkeling in the area protected from the waves. Kiholo Bay is about 6 miles from Anaeho’omalu Bay, and we really didn’t see much of anything till we got all the way down there — at which point we spotted what we thought was a competitive pod out to sea. We headed their way and got to watch a pair of whales spout and sound (but no real competition). On the way back to Anaeho’omalu Bay after snorkeling, we saw another pair of whales spouting and sounding, and were surprised when a single whale surfaced behind us.
Mahalo and Mele Kalikimaka!
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Yesterday I promised I’d outline the rules regulating human to Humpback interaction. In 1966, the International Whaling Commission banned most nations from hunting Humpbacks. In the U.S., the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, and the Endangered Species Act of 1973 provide additional protection to the whales. And though the Humpbacks are now no longer “officially endangered”, unless you’re operating under a federal research permit, approaching humpback whales within 100 yards (300 feet) by any means (boat, swimming, kayaking etc) or within 1,000 feet from aircraft is still prohibited. It’s also prohibited to approach the whales closer than 100 yards by interception (i.e. you can’t “hop-scotch” in front of them), or do anything that would disrupt their “normal behavior” or “prior activity”.