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Escorted by Dolphins

Watching A Breach

March 4, 2024


A pod of Spinner Dolphins escorted us out of Kawaihae Harbor on Saturday’s Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise and led us right over to a Momma Humpback and her very small calf. For a while it looked like the calf was trying to interact with the dolphins (or maybe it was the dolphins who were trying to interact with the calf). And depending on how you’d like to interpret the ensuing events, either Mom was enjoying the inter-species interaction, or she was irritated by it, because she breached right in the middle of everything. We also got to see a competitive pod of 4 Humpbacks breach 6 times, one right after the other, less than a mile away from us. And when we glanced around throughout the cruise, we got to see Humpbacks at our 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, 9 o’clock and 12 o’clock.

On Sunday’s Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise, we found a Mom/calf duo just after leaving the harbor and we spent considerable time with them. These two surfaced right next to the boat about 5 times in the first 30 minutes of our trip. Later in the cruise, we saw a different calf tail-lobbing repetitively, so we headed over to investigate. It turned out that this Mom/calf duo was accompanied by an escort and Mom didn’t seem too pleased by his presence. We watched her tail-lob in his direction at least 50 times — and then he started charging towards the two of them. Eventually Mom’s aggressive posturing scared him away (or maybe it was just that he decided to take off to find a more accommodating female elsewhere). When we could tear our eyes away from these interactions, we saw lots and lots of other Humpbacks surfacing, spouting and sounding all around us.



Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day:  Before whaling was banned internationally, Humpback whales’ livers were processed for their oil, which contained a lot of vitamin A. A fully grown Humpback has a liver that weighs between 800 and 1400 pounds. An adult human’s liver averages between 3.2 and 3.7 lbs. (which means our livers are proportionally the same size to our overall body weight as their livers are to their overall body weight).