We started off Monday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise watching an adult Humpback breach not one, not two, not three…but FOUR times just about 150 yards from our boat. After that final breach, we figured he was exhausted and were just about to leave the area when he surprised us by resurfacing and tail-lobbing too many times to keep count. After he finally stopped slapping his flukes on the water, he spouted a couple of times and dove. We figured that he was done, and were just about to leave the area again when he surprised us by surfacing and once again, tail-lobbing too many times to keep count. And then he stopped, spouted, and dove. This time we decided that leaving the area wasn’t a great option, and our instincts paid off when he surfaced again and spy-hopped, clearly taking a look at us. Those of us who could tear our eyes away from this lone Humpback saw a couple of other spouts further away, but we didn’t have the time (or the inclination) to leave our Humpback to investigate.
We saw 6 different Humpbacks multiple times during Tuesday’s Wake Up with the Whales Cruise. Most of them were on 15 minute dive cycles, but one pod of two was up every 5 minutes for awhile. All of our Humpbacks were calm — we saw lots of spouts, lots of dorsal fins and even a few flukes. We stayed about 100 yards away from all of the whales we were watching, except for one Humpback, who surprised us when he surfaced just 25 yards off of our stern. There was a bit of wind out there during our cruise, which hindered our Humpback eavesdropping time — we deployed the hydrophone, but the wind kept pushing the boat around, so we though we could hear some whales, we also picked up a lot of interference.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Spy hopping is one of the ways a Humpback can see what’s going on above the surface of the water. Because Humpbacks have really big heads proportionally, their eyes are about a third of the way down their bodies. When the whale spy hops, she rises slowly and vertically from the water, head first. If she’s a fully grown whale, the tip of her rostrum may be 15 feet above the surface before her eyes get there!