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Hours of Competition

Humpback Head Lunge

February 13, 2024


We operated back-to-back Guaranteed Whale Watch Cruises on Monday from Anaeho’omalu Bay. Though we saw spouts and flukes from Humpbacks in every direction (including 3 different Mom/Calf duos), the highlight of the two cruises was getting to parallel a competitive pod — and it was the same pod for both cruises.

We saw quite a bit of action on the surface from these very excited and very aggressive/assertive whales. Besides getting to see multiple tail lobs and pec slaps as the pod surged across the surface, we also saw lots of head lunges and some outright body blocks. While we were watching, none of them breached, but the sheer force they demonstrated while travelling was really exciting to watch — and hear –(those trumpeting sounds made by out-of-breath Humpbacks are just so, so impressive).

During the almost 3 hours we got to watch this competitive pod, we estimated that most of the time the pod numbered 7 whales. We got to see some Humpbacks peel off from the pod, diving and then surfacing further away to catch their breath, followed by other Humpbacks in the area (who were obviously attracted to the commotion), veer over to join the party.



Oh, and just an FYI — we have some Exclusive Cruises scheduled over the next few days, so my updates this week will be a little “spotty”.

Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day:  Research suggests that most Humpbacks who come to Hawaii don’t’ spend the entire winter with us. An average stay lasts between a month and 6 weeks. Possible exceptions to this rule include dominant males, who may spend more time here to optimize mating opportunities, and females who give birth after arriving in Hawaii. They might spend a little longer here so that their calves can grow large enough to successfully swim back to Alaska.