We only operated one dedicated Whale Watch Cruise this past weekend — Saturday’s Mid-Morning Cruise from Kawaihae. The trip became a fun one though as soon as we spotted a competitive pod breaching multiple times off in the distance. Since we were on Alala, we were able to put the boat in higher gear, and eventually we caught up with the pod. By the time we did, the competition was over, leaving Momma and her Calf with a single Escort. The three of them were cruising at a pretty good clip, but we were able to parallel them without bothering them for awhile. Since they had all been active for quite some time, they were still breathing hard (and frequently). We saw a lot of baby as he surfaced to breathe, a bit less of Mom, and even less of their Escort.
After we finally turned the boat away from them, we took a moment to deploy our hydrophone and we heard a lot of different whale voices. Since the shape of the coastline can amplify sounds, we’re guessing we were listening to whales who were as far away as 7 – 10 miles, but based on the volume of the voices playing through our speakers, some of the singers were much closer. Though we have no way of knowing for sure, we may even have been listening to the vanquished competitors we had seen breaching in the beginning of the cruise.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Where do the Humpbacks go when they migrate away from Hawaii? Most of them appear to migrate directly north, to feeding grounds off of northern British Columbia and southeastern Alaska waters. But they can migrate to just about any location round the Pacific Rim — one humpback satellite-tagged in Hawaii spent the summer in Russian waters.