Since my last report, we’ve taken more than 1200 people out on 26 different cruises (a BIG convention came to the island and pre-booked our boats). Since there’s no way I can provide details for so many cruises, suffice it to say, our interactions with the Humpbacks who were interested in us were fantastic.
On Thursday, we operated our regular Mid-Morning Cruise, and I’m happy to report that even though the convention-goers have left the island, the whales have not. Though we saw a lot of spouts from Humpbacks in various directions too far for us to investigate, we spent significant time with a Mom/Baby pod. Mom let her little guy check us out, and we got good views of both of them when they surfaced just 20 yards from our idling boat. We even got to see Baby breach — maybe he was burning off some energy from the rich milk he ingests daily (see Today’s Fact of the Day for more on that) or maybe he was just trying to get a better look at us. We also had a close encounter with 2 adult Humpbacks. We had been paralleling one of them for about 20 minutes when he met up with a second adult Humpback. Both of these whales surfaced about 50 yards from us, startling us with the sounds of their exhalations.
Later in the cruise we saw a breach and a tail lob from a lone Humpback who was about a mile from us. For the past week, every time we deployed our hydrophone we were surprised at how loud the Humpback songs were…and today was no exception. We know our microphone can pick up Humpback voices from a good 7 miles away, but based on the clarity and volume of what we were hearing today, these singers were much, much closer.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Being mammals, Humpback Moms feed their calves milk. But Humpback milk isn’t just any old milk — it’s extremely rich, with a fat content of approximately 50% so it doesn’t dissipate quickly in salt water (see the picture above). As a comparison, human milk contains only about 4.5% fat. Supposedly, Humpback milk tastes like “sweetened cod liver oil” …but I’m going to have to rely on what I read to verify that description!