We were barely out of the bay on Tuesday’s Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise when we encountered Momma Humpback and her little calf. We didn’t want to bother them, so after watching them spout and sound, we headed out towards some splashing we saw created by some other adult Humpbacks on the surface a bit further up the coast. We spent the next part of the cruise hopping from sighting to sighting. We’d see some splashing, so we’d head the boat over to where the action was happening, only for the whales to stop splashing as we arrived in their vicinity. But that was ok, because we’d see other whales splashing on the surface somewhere else and as we headed that direction, our new active pod would calm down. But then another pod would get active and we’d head their direction (picture a game of ping-pong with us being the ball).
Throughout the course of the cruise we saw a LOT of activity from at least 15 different Humpbacks including pec slaps, head lunges, breaches. tail lobs and even part of a spy hop. We also got to watch a pair of whales rolling around each other at the surface. Were they mating? Of course we couldn’t positively confirm it, but they sure seemed to be attached at the hip!
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: A Humpback Whale doesn’t reach sexual maturity till it’s about 35 feet long (age 5 or 6 for females, and a little bit later for males). Researchers have observed that most Humpbacks in the North Pacific don’t begin calving successfully till they’re at least 10 years old – the mean average is 11.8 years. In the North Atlantic, Humpbacks generally give birth for the first time between ages 5 and 7, reaching sexual maturity earlier too.