Monday’s Wake Up with the Whales Cruise was FULL of activity. As soon as we left the harbor, we were surrounded by a pod of about 3 dozen Spinner Dolphins. After letting them play in our wake for awhile, we headed out to see a whale who had spouted at the surface and sounded. After waiting around for almost 30 minutes, we gave up on seeing our first whale a second time, and headed over to watch what turned out to be our favorite duo, Momma Humpback and her calf. These two seemed to be heading somewhere with intent, and after moving along with them for awhile, one of our guests saw our fourth Humpback of the day. This whale announced his presence by breaching, and on our way out to see him, we watched him do multiple pectoral slaps. Once we got to our 100 yard mark, whale number 4 seemed to disappear, but fortunately 2 more Humpbacks surfaced nearby. Both of these whales were kind of small — not calves, but not fully grown adults either. One of them appeared to be a light gray color (though he wasn’t the light gray whale we had seen the other day as today’s whale’s dorsal fin didn’t have that distinctive notch). While we were watching these two whales, the darker and larger of the two rolled over and started doing some pectoral slaps. This duo surfaced close to us several times, but eventually we had to turn the boat and begin to head back to the harbor…and that’s when one of these two whales decided to breach. Unfortunately most of us were looking the wrong way to see it, but with all the other action we had seen throughout the cruise, we reminded ourselves not to be too disappointed that we missed that final breach.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Ok…so I know this isn’t a fact about whales, but it is almost the end of the season, and this fact is oddly interesting to me so I don’t want to miss an opportunity to share it with you. Researchers have observed schools of herring, while being pursued by orcas (killer whales), generating extensive gas bubble releases from their anuses. Due to the density difference of these bubbles compared to the surrounding sea water, the researchers have theorized that the herrings’ gas creates a barrier disrupting the echolocation abilities of the orca, which, in turn, may allow those farting herring to avoid being eaten!
Something to consider if you ever find yourself being chased around the ocean by an orca…