I can hardly believe I’m typing these words, but we just completed our final official dedicated Whale Watch Cruise of the season (where does the time go?)!
Instead of describing everything we saw today, I think it’s best if I let the whales speak for themselves. Click here to listen to what we got to hear during the cruise…and be sure to listen to at least the one minute mark to hear our Director of Boating Operations, Captain Will sum up the day (and the season).
As always, I’m honored that you chose to take a moment out of your day to read, share, and comment on these posts over the past 4 months.
Of course I couldn’t provide any information about our sightings without the help of our very talented Boating Team (in no particular order) — Captains Will, Jason, Sam, Maika, and Kimo, and crew members Dave, Kai, Scott, Dominic, Ty, Asterin, Mike, and Moani.
Even though we won’t be operating any more Whale Watch Cruises until December 15th, I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing the occasional Humpback from our catamaran cruises for the next couple of weeks (at least) — so I hope that if you’re on the island, you’ll join us aboard and try your luck!
Until next season…
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: I’ll leave you this season with something I’ve always found interesting but rarely get the chance to share. Recently, researchers observing populations of singing male Humpbacks were able to determine that immature males will join mature males in singing. The researchers theorize that the entire Humpback population benefits when more males are singing, suggesting that every voice is important as a means to attract females to the “arena” where the males have congregated. Since we know that the females don’t respond to an individual male’s song – it’s not like a songbird’s song, designed to attract a female and repel other males – the researchers theorize that the Humpbacks’ songs are meant to attract any and all females, which in turn, would increase mating opportunities for mature animals regardless of gender. Though the immature singing males may not get an opportunity to mate, they derive benefits too, since they get to learn the prevailing songs and the social rules of mating.
In case you’re curious, these researchers based their determinations of the whale’s maturity level on its length – 11.2 meters or 36’9” was determined to be the length at which male humpbacks reach sexual maturity…and this cut-off was based on research done by biologists in the US and Japan who were able to determine sexual maturity based on the weight of the whales’ testes.
So how much do the Humpbacks testes weigh at sexual maturity? In 1955, researcher R.G. Chittleborough reported on the sexual maturity of 609 male humpback whales taken during shore-whaling operations in the Southern Ocean. He reports the mean weight of the testes to be 2000 grams (about 4.5 pounds) at puberty.