Our Tuesday Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise began with sightings of a Mom/Calf duo. After watching them for awhile, we saw some surface commotion further down the coast so we went to investigate. The commotion turned out to have been caused by another Mom/Calf duo, but these two were accompanied by a primary escort, and two other “wanna-be” escorts. The two “wanna-bes” were rejected by Mom (or chased away by her escort), and we kept one eye on them as they headed away, and the other eye on our Mom and calf who kept surfacing closer and closer to the boat. Eventually, the two rejected males turned around and headed back our way (maybe they couldn’t find any other females so they figured it was worth trying another shot at our Mom). Meanwhile, Mom and her baby kept approaching and eventually were just 20 feet or so away from us. The primary Escort approached too, and we got to see his beautiful flukes as he sounded right off our starboard rails.
But that’s not all…because just as we were trying to figure out where all our whales went, one of our guests said to our head naturalist Greg, “Can you come over here? What am I looking at?” Greg recognized immediately that it was our primary Escort, hanging out about 30 feet below the boat (that Escort had a lot of white on his pectoral flippers so he was easy to pick out). Anyway, while we were watching him below the port side of the boat, Momma and her baby surfaced and spouted about 40 feet from us. We got a couple more good views of all 3 of them before they began to head south, and we had to turn the boat to head back to the harbor.
Oh…and to top it off, we also got to see a full breach just about 100 feet from the boat!
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: A Humpback Whale has a big heart. An 80,000 pound whale’s heart averages just over 400 pounds, and according to measurements made by the Nelson Institute of Marine Research, beats an average of somewhere between 10 and 30 times per minute.