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Frustration Leads to Surprises

Humpback calf breach

February 8, 2024


Our Wednesday Wake up with the Whales Cruise began with a bit of frustration. We saw a couple of different Mom/Baby duos with active babies. Each of those calves looked like they were attempting some breaches — until we got close enough to really see them. Then they stopped. Ugh.

Later in the cruise we were completely surprised when a lone adult Humpback surfaced just about 5 feet from us. This whale slipped under the surface, but then did the same thing a couple of other times before slipping away for good. After that, we watched a pair of whales surface on opposite sides of the boat just about 20 feet from us before one of them began swimming out to sea while the other one circled the boat before swimming off in the other direction. On the way back to the bay, we got to see a few more breaching whales, but they were all about 1000 yards away.

Meanwhile, up in Kawaihae the winds were blowing for our Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise, but we headed out to sea where we encountered a competitive pod of three whales. We watched them pec slap and tail lob for awhile. Later in the cruise we watched a very active calf breach a couple of times. Mom was on the surface too and it looked like she was positioning herself so that her baby could play unbothered by the couple of wanna’be escorts who were also hanging around.



Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day:  There’s a time when a whale is still in its fetal stage that it’s covered in fur. By the time the calf is born, the fur has disappeared. Many researchers believe that this is another indication that whales have evolved from an animal with a common ancestor to a hippo. The idea that the stages of an animal’s fetal development reflect evolutionary development or “Ontogeny recapitulates Phylogeny” was first proposed by Ernst Haeckel around 1900.