If you read yesterday’s Whale Report, you’ll probably remember we mentioned seeing whales in every direction. Well, the same thing happened during Tuesday’s Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise. With whales surfacing and spouting every which way, we actually didn’t know where to look, and eventually our necks got tired from trying to keep track of all the surfacing whales. After a good half hour of watching spouts and listening to some very loud singing through our hydrophone, we spotted a whale breaching to our south, offshore of the Mauna Kea Beach Resort…so we pulled the microphone out of the water and headed that way.
Normally when we have to travel to see a breaching whale, the whale gets tired before we get there and stops breaching. That didn’t happen this time…in fact we saw at least 10 breaches from this whale. When we got close enough to figure out what was going on, we realized there were actually 2 whales creating all the commotion. We’re not sure if one of them was responsible for all the surface activity or if they both were breaching, but our presence seemed to interest them and they decided to swim over to check us out, at one point passing just 25 yards from our idling boat. One of the two had a lot of white on his pectoral flippers so we could also track his movements while he was a good 40 feet below the surface.
One of our two whales did some lazy peduncle throws (aimed at the other whale) followed a bit later by some very energetic peduncle throws. Besides all this activity, we got some great fluke shots when the whales sounded nearby.
On the way back to the harbor, we were surprised when a pod of 2 Humpbacks surfaced at our 3:00 just about 100 yards from us…and those of us who kept an eye on our 2 active Humpbacks got to see a few more peduncle throws as we drove away.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: I’ve used the word “peduncle” a lot of times this season (including 3 times in today’s report). So what’s a “peduncle”? We call the region between the whales’ flukes and his main body, a “peduncle”…but why such a strange word? I was wondering about the etymology of the word, so I looked it up. Turns out that the word “peduncle” comes from the Latin word “ped” which means foot. It was first used to describe the stalk of a flower, fruit, or tumor. I guess that makes sense…the back part of the whale does sort of look like a stalk, bearing the whale’s wide flukes.