We didn’t run any cruises on Sunday, but we did take folks out on two Whale Watch Cruises on Saturday. Both of these cruises departed from Kawaihae Harbor so we got to explore a different part of the coastline — and since it was pretty windy, we were happy to be able to take advantage of the lee when we could.
On both our Wake Up with the Whales Cruise and our Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise, we spent significant time with Momma Humpbacks and their calves. We began our first cruise watching a Mom/Calf/Escort pod, but they eventually headed out into the wind and we decided not to follow them. Later in the cruise we found another Mom/Calf pod. This duo was staying in pretty shallow water, fairly close to the shoreline. We didn’t think they were accompanied by an escort (at least we didn’t see any evidence of a third whale while we were watching). Momma and her calf must have thought we were interesting (or at least, not threatening) because they surfaced close by, giving us all some great views of them. When we weren’t watching our Mom/Calf pods, we saw spouts from other bigger whales further away from us.
Our second cruise was pretty similar to our first cruise. We spent most of our time with a Mom/Calf duo. Again, during the time we spent with them, we didn’t see evidence of any escorts. As usual, baby was on the surface every 3 or 4 minutes, so we got to see her little spouts pretty frequently. Mom was on 20 minutes dives, but when she surfaced and spouted, she sure made her presence known!
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Did you know that you can identify the species of whale by the size and shape of its spout? Humpbacks create that distinctive 10-15 foot tall pear shaped plume…sperm whales create an angular blow, grey whales create a bushy v shaped blow, and blue whales — the biggest species of whales– typically create a 30 foot tall cone shaped blow. See the image above to see the differences.