We never really know what to expect at the end of Humpback season. We try not to get our hopes up too high, but at the same time, we ALWAYS have high hopes for great Whale Watch Cruises.
On Friday’s Wake Up with the Whales Cruise, we saw 5 different Humpbacks. Two of these 5 showed us their flukes as they sounded a mile or so away from us — and we never saw those two again. We spent most of our time with a Mom/Calf pod. Baby was on the surface fairly frequently, but wasn’t really doing much besides surfacing, spouting a couple of times, and then diving down to his Mom. Mom was also resting, and the whole time we were with this pod of two, we only saw her at the surface a couple of times. If there was an escort with them, he was an incredible breath holder — as we didn’t ever get to see him on the surface. Our final sighting was of a pretty active lone whale. As we watched from about 500 yards away, this Humpback did 5 head lunges. Since there didn’t appear to be any other whales in his vicinity for him to be directing this communication towards, we had no idea what spurred the activity. Maybe he was itchy and was attempting to dislodge some annoying parasites??
On Saturday’s Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise from Kawaihae, we saw 3 Humpbacks but an entire pod of curious Spinner Dolphins. When those dolphins heard our boat, we watched them veer over to play in our bow and stern wakes. We saw lots of jumping, lots of spinning, and even a few tail lobs from them before they continued on their way and we continued on our way. We got to see Humpbacks too on this trip — we had a brief glimpse of a Mom and her calf, but since they seemed to want nothing to do with us, we decided to leave them alone. We also got some great views of a lone Humpback who surfaced within 50 yards of us a couple of times. We kind of thought this guy was a bit bored (no other whales to play with in the near vicinity), so we hung out for awhile to let him sate his curiousity.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Starting out as a way to pass time between whale sightings and hunts on the whaling ships in the mid18th century, “scrimshawing” (or the art of carving intricate designs on to whale teeth, bones and baleen) survived until the ban on commercial whaling went into effect. The etched designs were originally produced by sailors using sailing needles, and were colored with candle soot and tobacco juice to bring the designs into view. Today, hobbyists still create scrimshaw — but they use bones and tusks from non-endangered and non-protected animal species like camels, buffalo and even warthogs. Sound interesting? Click here to begin your new hobby today!