Monday morning’s Wake Up with the Whales Cruise was really interesting from our perspective, but probably frustrating and a bit annoying from the perspective of the Humpbacks.
We spent most of our time watching Mom Humpback with her slightly older calf. Baby spent a lot of time floating on Mom’s rostrum until the arrival of 2 Escorts. Once these guys showed up, it was clear that Mom wasn’t going to get any peace. They shoved each other around, and approached Mom and her calf pretty aggressively. Mom did a good job blocking the Escorts from her little one using her rostrum to push the calf along. At one point baby started swimming towards our idling boat. Mom came over too, and they both surfaced just 6 feet off our port rails. By that time, we only could account for one of the Escorts. The second Escort was either too deep for us to see or he had given up and went in search of a more amenable female Humpback.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Biopsy samples taken from South Pacific Humpbacks show a ratio of 2.4 males for every female on the breeding grounds. A similar ratio has been observed in Hawaii. This suggests either: 1). female Humpbacks can afford to be choosy with their mating partner; or; 2). female Humpbacks are overwhelmed by aggressive males and bullied into mating.