Despite the windy conditions on the water, guests joining us on Friday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise were pleasantly surprised several times. Our first surprise occurred as we were motoring south and a big Humpback (who we had no idea was there), surfaced just about 40 feet from us off our port bow. Of course we stopped the boat, and we all got nice views of his all-black flukes as he sounded right in front of us. After that, we were surprised by a little splash at our 8:00 (port side towards the stern). The splash turned out to be from a little calf who decided to breach 2 times. This certainly got our attention, and that turned out to be a good thing, because right after baby’s second breach, a BIG whale breached right next to him just about 50 yards from the boat. Since this big whale was so close to baby, we first guessed it was Mom. But as we waited and scanned the area, a third whale surfaced, so the breacher could have been Mom’s male Escort — and just why do we not think this third whale was a female friend of Mom, helping her with her calf? See today’s Fact of the Day for a possible answer. Anyway, these three whales were heading south, and since we didn’t want to get too far from the bay in the wind, we had to turn the boat around and head back. On the way back to the bay we saw more breaches and a lot more spouts in different directions further out to sea.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Researchers have observed that female Humpbacks don’t associate with each other at all while they’re in Hawaii. This is especially interesting in light of the fact that the females do associate with each other in Alaska — they’ll even feed cooperatively there. Since the females come here just to mate (and calve), we can postulate that female-female interaction must somehow get in the way of successful mating. Maybe groups of females would attract too many competitive males for safe mating to occur…what do you think?