I can hardly believe I’m writing these words…Tuesday we ran our FINAL Whale Watch Cruise of the 2020/2021 Season — a Wake up with the Whales Cruise from Kawaihae Harbor. And just like our opening day cruise this season, our closing day cruise brought us close-by sightings of a Humpback whale. A guest first spotted some spouts out to sea, so we turned the boat and headed to where we thought the whale might be. When this lone Humpback finally surfaced, he was about 200 yards from us, so we watched him spout a few times and sound, and then we headed towards where he had been. The next time he spouted, he was only about 75 yards from us, so after watching him spout and sound, we waited for him to surface again. The third time he surfaced, he was about 200 yards away, so we headed over to our 100 yard mark to watch him spout and sound again. We got to see him one last time when he surfaced and spouted 6 times before we had to bid Aloha to our last Humpback, and our last Whale Watch of the season.
I send my MAHALO NUI to all of you who’ve read and commented on these reports this year. Of course I couldn’t have shared all these sightings with you without the help of our fantastic captains and crew…Will, Ryan, Adam, Jason, Maika, Sam, Kino, Shane, Ti, and our head naturalist, Greg. Though we won’t be offering Whale Watch Cruises again until December 15th, I suspect we’ll still see the occasional Humpback for the next month or so during our Snorkel Adventure Cruises and Pau Hana Sunset Cruises. If you’re on the island, we hope you’ll get a chance to join us aboard!
Mahalo and a hui hou!
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Are the Humpbacks we watch so closely each winter watching us too? Researchers have discovered that the brains of many cetaceans, including Humpbacks, contain 3 times as many spindle neurons as are found in humans. What do these neurons do? In humans spindle neurons have been observed to be active when the subject is experiencing strong emotions and social awareness…so it’s quite possible that the whales who approach our boats are doing so with intent. Maybe just as we spend our days trying to interpret the reasons behind the whales’ behaviors, the Humpbacks are spending their days trying to figure out why we’re so interested in them!