Since our last post, we’ve operated 12 different cruises, and though many of them weren’t dedicated Whale Watch Cruises, we saw Humpbacks on all of them. Here are some highlights:
We also got to hang out with 2 Mom/calf pods later on Thursday (based on their respective sizes and locations, we’re pretty sure they were the same pods we had watched in the morning). Over the course of this cruise, we got to watch one of the calves breach more than 20 times — it wasn’t all in a row, but his sporadic breaching fits were more fun because we never knew when to expect them.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Just how difficult is it for a 40 ton, 45 foot long animal to “fly” from the sea in a total breach? Observers have reported seeing Humpbacks breach after only two kick strokes for propulsion. Based on the formula for calculating horsepower, measurements of laminar flow around cetacean skin (how water flows past the skin of the animal), girth and drag in the water, the breaching whale is producing between 1500 and 1700 horsepower in order to “catch air”. We used to think it was closer to 5000 horsepower, but with the aid of a calculator and more accurate measurements, we’ve been able to recalculate …still, try this yourself next time you’re in the water. We’re betting you won’t get very far!