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Excited Ocean = Excited Humpbacks

Humpback tail lob

January 11, 2024


Wednesday’s ocean was still all excited from Tuesday’s storms, and the whales seemed pretty excited too.

Guests on our Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise were met just outside the harbor by a curious Humpback who surfaced out of nowhere pretty close to the boat. Captain Sam immediately shifted into neutral and we watched this Humpback take a very deep dive under us. He next surfaced 100 yards away, moving away from us, so we moved away from him too.

Later in the cruise we were approached by a duo of Humpbacks who surfaced about 50 yards from us to take a look at us and then moved on. We also got to see a juvenile Humpback tail lobbing repetitively (that’s what we call it when the whale slaps his flukes on the surface of the water) offshore of Hapuna Beach. We didn’t see any whales close to our tail lobber so we weren’t really sure to whom he was directing all that excitement.

On the way back to the dock (after watching a couple of big Humpbacks breaching too far away for us to investigate) we were once again surprised by a surfacing Humpback at our bow. This whale took a couple of breaths before sounding, but was close enough that we could hear (as well as see) those spouts.


Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day:  We used to think that the whales that arrived on the coast of the Big Island spent their Hawaii-time here with us. Research and close observation of individuals has proved us wrong. While the Humpbacks seem to prefer to spend most of their time on the lee sides of islands and in water less than 600 feet deep, they will travel between the islands (not in any particular direction that we’re aware of)….females who have calves travel less frequently though.