December 26, 2023
We hope you had a wonderful weekend and a Mele Kalikimaka (for those who celebrated it).
We were on the water a lot since my last report, so I’ll just include a few trip highlights.
- Saturday’s Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise started with sightings of a very active Mom/Baby duo just outside Kawaihae Harbor. We got to witness some lunges, peduncle throws and even a pectoral wave in our direction. Later in the cruise we saw 4 Humpbacks spouting together, and at the end of the trip, we watched a lone smallish Humpback tail lobbing repeatedly.
- Our Kalikimaka Wake Up With the Whales Cruise began with sightings of a small competitive pod of Humpbacks who were pec slapping repetitively as they cruised towards us from about 200 yards away. After they moved past us, we were accompanied by a pod of 2 Humpbacks who seemed to like us, as they continually surfaced, spouted and sounded just 20 yards from us.
- On Monday’s Late-Morning Whale Watch, we started the cruise watching a lone Humpback just outside of Anaeho’omalu Bay. This whale was on 20 minute dive cycles, so we stuck around just long enough until we saw some splashing and spouting at the surface to our south. We jetted down that way and encountered a pod of 3 Humpbacks who were interacting pretty vigorously. As we motored over, we all got to see lots of breaching. And when we finally arrived at that magic 100 yard mark, we watched as the smallest of the three was driven off by one of the bigger whales with lots and lots of pec slaps at the surface. Unfortunately we didn’t have quite enough time left on the cruise to see what, if anything, happened between that bigger “victorious” whale and the whale he was trying to “protect”.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Just how difficult is it for a 40 ton, 45 foot long animal to “fly” from the sea in a total breach? Observers have reported seeing Humpbacks breach after only two kick strokes for propulsion. Based on the formula for calculating horsepower, measurements of laminar flow around cetacean skin (how water flows past the skin of the animal), girth and drag in the water, the breaching whale is producing between 1500 and 1700 horsepower in order to “catch air”. We used to think it was closer to 5000 horsepower, but with the aid of a calculator and more accurate measurements, we’ve been able to recalculate …still, try this yourself next time you’re in the water. We’re betting you won’t get very far!