Guests on our Kalikimaka Day Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise got to watch Humpbacks for a good percentage of the time we were at sea. At first, we thought we were watching 2 Humpbacks chasing each other around. Just like when you run fast or swim hard and need to breathe heavily, these two whales seemed to need to surface frequently to breathe. When we initially encountered them, they were surfacing every 5 minutes and exhaling heavily so we figured they had to be chasing each other when they were underwater (and not just relaxing). After watching them through a couple of dive cycles, a third whale surfaced. We weren’t sure where he had come from as we hadn’t seen any nearby spouts while we were watching our pod of 2. Once he joined the group, they all began surfacing every 8 minutes, and after a couple of dive cycles, all of a sudden we saw a 4th whale surface with them. When 4 out-of-breath whales surface together, there’s a lot of surface commotion and it’s really exciting to watch. Though these 4 didn’t perform any aggressive maneuvers (at least none that we could see), we did get to see their flukes pretty often as they twisted and turned while diving.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Though they look inflexible, a Humpback’s flukes (the wide part of his tail) contain no bones…just cartilage. When the whale is born, the sides of his flukes are curled up so he can slide more easily out of mom’s birth canal.