After Monday’s epic Humpback sightings, we were pretty sure we couldn’t have had a better time at sea. And then…Tuesday rolled around and we realized things were just beginning in the Hawaii Humpback world. Guests on Tuesday’s Mid-Morning Cruise saw more than 15 different Humpbacks. We spent most of our time with a competitive pod that definitely had something to prove to each other.
We got to see pec slaps, peduncle throws, head lunges and even some full-on breaches from this group. Most of the time we were able to stay about 100 yards from them, but since they were busy with each other and probably only paying peripheral attention to our idling boat, there were a couple of times that they’d all surface just 50 yards from us (when we saw the breach, that whale was in the close-up 50 yard range).
The ocean was really calm too, which meant that when we could tear our eyes from the nearby action, we could see other whales breaching a mile or so away from us. Calm conditions also allowed us to deploy our hyrdophone twice, and each time the sounds we heard were incredible. Based on the volume, we could tell that some of the whales we were listening to were within a mile of us, and others much further, creating a veritable symphony of Humpback sounds.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Though most of us on Whale Watch Cruises in Hawaii are here to see the Humpback Whales, according to our friends at Cascadia Research Collective there are actually 18 species of Odontocetes (toothed whales) and 8 species of Mysticetes (whales with baleen) that have been documented in Hawaiian waters.