Mele Kalikimaka wishes to you and your ‘Ohana!
We had an interesting couple of days of Whale Watching this past weekend. Though we gave our entire boat crew the day off on Christmas, we did get out to sea both Friday and Saturday.
We spent Friday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise hanging out with a trio of adult Humpbacks. These whales stayed between 50 and 100 yards from our boat, and it appeared to all of us that one of the three was not all that healthy. This whale was a grayish color — and she spent a lot of time at the surface just breathing. The whales accompanying her did some deeper dives (we saw their flukes) but our grayish whale just kind of slipped under the surface in between spouting episodes. We know there’s been some recent sightings off the Big Island of Moon, the Humpback with the broken spine — we even talked about her in our first Whale Report of the season — so it’s possible that we were looking at her. She never came close enough to our boat for us to make a positive identification, and though many of our guests took photos of our whale trio, none of the photos allowed us to ID her either (made us wish we had a drone).
Anyway, we watched this trio for much of the trip. When we deployed our hydrophone we got to listen in to some whale communication. We’ll keep our eyes open for this grayish whale. As Maika, our onboard naturalist remarked, she “doesn’t look like she’s going anywhere fast”.
We left Anaeho’omalu Bay on Saturday at 9:30 for our Mid-Morning Whale Watch. Of course we were all looking for our Friday Humpback trio, but they were nowhere to be seen. Instead, we spent over an hour with a Mom/Calf pod offshore of the Mauna Lani. Baby looked to be really young — he had that bent dorsal fin we see with newborns. He wasn’t all that energetic, and he stuck close to his Mom (at least he did while we were around). He was on 3 – 4 minute dive cycles, so he was saw him at the surface probably 15 different times. Mom kept him (and herself) 100 yards from us, but still, the couple of times we got to see her surface, we were fascinated with the size and power of her spout.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: A baby whale, called a “calf” looks so small and cute when seen playing with her Mom. But everything is relative…when the calf is born, she can already be 10 to as much as 15 feet long, and she weighs 2000 to 3000 pounds! The calf is about 26 feet long when it’s weaned (at 10-11 months).