We braved the rainy weather on Friday for our Wake up with the Whales Cruise from Anaeho’omalu Bay. Guests joining us spent some time with two Mom/Calf pods. The second pod was accompanied by an escort — and there may have been an escort lurking beneath the first pod, but if there were, we didn’t stay long enough to see him. Later in the cruise we watched two separate pods of two adult Humpbacks. As we watched, these pods were inundated by a pod of about 50 Spinner Dolphins. It looked to us like the dolphins were herding (or maybe luring) the whales towards our boat because not only did they surround the whales, but on a few occasions ALL the cetaceans surfaced close to the boat.
On Saturday’s Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise we got to see a little calf head lunging repeatedly for about 20 minutes. When an adult Humpback does that, it looks like a very aggressive behavior, but when a calf does the same thing, it’s just so, so cute (though his Mom might have had a different opinion about all that activity). While we were watching our little calf have his playtime, we saw lots of adult Humpbacks lift their flukes to sound all around us. Oh and our calf was escorted by his Mom (of course) and a male escort who breached once. We were hoping he might do it again, but the rest of the time we’d see him on the surface, he’d just spout a few times and show his flukes before diving.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: How do Humpbacks keep their cool when swimming through our warm Hawaiian waters? During prolonged exercise in warm water, excess heat is shed by increasing circulation to a network of capillaries (in Latin they’re called “retia mirabilia” which translates to “miracle network”) near the surface of the Humpbacks’ flippers, flukes and dorsal fin — the excess heat is shed to the external environment. In fact, many researchers believe that whales lifting their pectoral fins into the air, or resting with their flukes exposed vertically are actually trying to cool off.