People frequently ask us, “What time is the best time to see the Humpbacks”?
Unfortunately, on Wednesday it wasn’t during our Wake up with the Whales Cruise. During the course of the cruise, we saw spouts from 10 different whales. Most of them were in groups of two, and with the exception of one pod who surfaced 100 yards from us, the rest of them were all 500 yards or so away. So, though we saw evidence of Humpbacks, it wasn’t good enough for us. We called the trip a “Fluke” and invited everyone aboard to join us again for FREE on another cruise.
Right after we dropped off the folks from our first cruise, we re-boarded and went out on a Snorkel and Whale Watch Adventure Cruise. This turned out to be the BEST time to see (and hear) the whales on Wednesday. We got to watch 4 whales breach 10 times in a row about 400 yards off of the Mauna Lani Golf Course’s signature hole — the place we call “6th Hole” (it’s actually the 15th hole, but it used to be the 6th hole, and being traditionalists, we haven’t changed our name for the spot). Anyway, besides the breaching whales, we also got to see a couple of other pods creating surface splashes a bit further away — maybe in response to our breachers. Could these pods have been communicating with each other? See today’s Fact of the Day for more on that. Oh, and when we deployed the hydrophone, we heard some very loud whale voices so there was obviously some underwater communication going on too.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Humpback whale communication signals comprise two different types: vocal signals, and surface-generated signals such as ‘breaching’ or ‘pectoral slapping’. Back in 2010, researchers reported that humpback whales gradually switched from primarily vocal to primarily surface-generated communication in increasing wind speeds and background noise levels. Why? Surface-generated sounds have energy distributed over a greater frequency range and may be less likely to become confused in periods of high wind-generated noise. Therefore, it may be easier for the whales to communicate to each other by splashing when it’s windy.