The theme for Wednesday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise from Anaeho’omalu Bay was Moms and their calves.
We encountered our first Mom/Baby duo south of the bay. These two weren’t all that active so after watching them (and a few adult Humpbacks who were spouting further away from us), we decided to turn the boat around and head back north, where we encountered our second Mom/Baby duo. This little calf was cuddling with his Mom. We got to see him rest on her pectoral flippers and her rostrum, and dive all around her. They were accompanied by an escort, but he wasn’t really interfering with the snuggle time. Later in the cruise, we watched these two swim towards our third Mom/Baby duo. Of course the Moms didn’t let their babies approach each other too closely (see today’s Fact of the Day for more on that), but it was interesting to see the differences between the Moms’ interactions with their own calves (or maybe it was the babies that were controlling the types of interactions going on). Our third Mom/Baby duo was certainly swimming close to each other, but this baby wasn’t nearly as “clingy” as that baby in the second duo was.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Researchers have observed that Humpback calves are very playful, investigating all kinds of objects in their environment (including our boat), interacting with their moms, and even interacting with passing pods of dolphins. But for as many calves as we see in Hawaii during the winter, we never have observed the calves playing with each other. Though we’re not sure why this is, perhaps the new moms won’t allow a calf not her own to approach, because she doesn’t want to feed the wrong one.