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Sounds Like Humpbacks?

Golden Record

March 19, 2024


We were met with some pretty strong winds as we left the bay for our Monday Wake up with the Whales Cruise. Those strong winds meant that whale spouts were blown away pretty quickly and that it also took us longer to travel to any whales that we saw on the surface. Saying that, we still saw more than a dozen Humpbacks during our cruise. Each was just surfacing, spouting, and diving again. We had one close encounter with a lone Humpback who chose to surface just 50 feet from us, before taking a look at the boat and then sounding again. Even with the strong winds, we were able to deploy our hydrophone, and once that microphone sank a few feet, we were able to hear a lot of loud and clear Humpback voices.

On our Late-Morning Whale Watch Cruise, guests saw at least 15 different Humpbacks. Highlights included a big peduncle throw from a Mom whale who was about 200 yards from us directed towards her wanna’ be Escort, some breaching about 1000 yards away from another excited whale, and three close encounters. We were able to deploy our hydrophone three different times during the cruise, and while we were sitting and listening, we were surprised by different Mom/calf duos who surfaced about 50 feet from us, swam towards the boat, dove underneath and came up on the other side.



Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: The haunting song of the Humpback has actually travelled beyond our oceans. In 1977, NASA launched two Voyager space crafts. Aboard each was a golden record with a collection of sights, sounds and greetings from Earth in 54 different human languages. These records also include greetings from Humpback whales! And that was just the first time the whales’ song travelled beyond our planet…On Earth Day (4/22) in 2005, a private organization called Deep Space Network broadcast a live feed from a hydrophone off the coast of Maui of the Humpbacks singing. They used a five meter parabolic dish antenna and broadcast the sounds about 18 trillion miles into deep space. So far, we’ve yet to receive a response. Even more interesting…in 2012, NASA sent a couple of probes through the earth’s radiation belt and found that the radio waves produced within the Van Allen Belts sound an awful lot like the Humpback’s songs. Listen to the clip here and let us know if you agree.