We saw 7 different Humpbacks during Thursday’s Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise — 2 duos and one three-some.
Our pod of three stayed about 400 yards from us — they all were adult whales (we could tell based on the size of their spouts). They didn’t appear to be competing with each other (at least on the surface), but they were obviously interacting, as each time they surfaced to spout they were within touching distance of each other (which means their actual bodies may have been more than 36 feet apart — see today’s Fact of the Day for more on that).
The two different pods of 2 we got to watch were also adult Humpbacks. We didn’t see any posturing for dominance between these whales and we really weren’t sure how long their alliances were going to last — though they didn’t separate and go their own ways while we watched.
All of our whales had 15 minute down times, so though none of them performed any crazy surface displays, we got to see all of them pretty frequently….and those frequent sightings sure make for a fun and successful Whale Watch Cruise.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Humpback Whales have the longest Pectoral Flippers (arms) of any of the great whales. They’re so distinctive that the Latin Genus name for the Humpback actually describes those flippers. The Genus and Species names are “Megaptera Novaengliae” meaning “Big-Winged New Englander”(they were named for the Humpbacks living off the east coast of the US). A fully grown Humpback’s pectoral flippers can be a third of the length of her body — so potentially, 15 to 18 feet long!