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It’s Not Over Until It’s Over

pectoral flipper

December 20, 2023


Guests on our one and only Whale Watch Cruise on Tuesday (our Wake Up with the Whales Cruise) got an opportunity to see 6 different Humpbacks.

We spent most of our time watching a pod of 3 younger smaller whales surface, spout and dive from about 100 yards away, but we also got some close up views of a couple of bigger adult Humpbacks. The smaller whales were on 10 minute dive cycles, but the bigger whales were staying underwater for 30 minutes at a time, so we didn’t see them as often.

Mid-way through the trip, Captain Sam was paralleling a lone Humpback who was heading north when all of a sudden a Humpback we didn’t even know was around surfaced about 50 yards from us at our bow — and this whale was heading right towards us. Of course Captain Sam immediately put the boat in neutral, and we got to see (and hear) this whale spouting before he sounded.

While we weren’t watching our close-by Humpbacks, we got to see a couple of pectoral slaps from a different Humpback about 75 yards from us.

And just as we ended our cruise, while we were securing the boat to the mooring, a Humpback breached 5 times at the mouth of the bay. Everyone rushed (carefully) to the stern of the boat, so everyone got to see those breaches — like we always say, “it’s not over ’til it’s over”!



Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: Why do we love to see a Humpback wave his pectoral flipper in the air before slapping it on the surface of the water? Well, that pectoral flipper is one of the most distinguishing morphological (body) characteristics of the genus. Humpbacks have extremely long pectoral flippers averaging 1/3rd the length of their bodies (approx. 15 feet). The flipper is such a distinguishing feature that the genus name for the Humpback (Megaptera) actually describes it – the translation from Latin for Megaptera is “Big – Winged”.

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