We really wish you had been aboard with us for our Tuesday Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise!
Over all, we saw at least a dozen different Humpbacks and they weren’t just surfacing and spouting. We saw 3 different competitive pods, and couldn’t keep track of all the tail-lobbing we saw from whales in one of those pods. We also saw peduncle throws (that’s what we call it when the whale throws the entire back half of his body out of the water — see today’s Fact of the Day for more on this), and lots of pectoral slaps too.
To top it off, one of these pods was as interested in us as we were in them as they spent considerable time swimming under us, surfacing in front of us, and swimming on the surface from bow to stern and stern to bow right along side the boat.
If that weren’t enough, when we deployed the hydrophone, the sounds we heard were incredibly loud — and we even heard some sounds today that we’d never heard before. What a day!
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Why would a whale waste the energy to throw the back half of his or her body out of the water in a Peduncle Throw (sometimes repetitively)?? Since the whales aren’t telling, all we can do is try to interpret their behavior in terms of what else is going on in their lives at that moment. We know that Humpbacks very rarely eat while they’re in Hawaii, and since a Peduncle Throw is a huge expenditure of energy (if you don’t believe me, try it yourself next time you’re in the ocean), it’s got to be important to the whale. Throwing half of yourself out of the water results in a huge splash and might be a way to communicate location, health, excitement, aggression or irritation to near-by whales. Especially if the near-by whale happens to be so near that he gets landed upon!