Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Surprised More than Once

Pectoral slap

January 16, 2024


Monday’s Whale Watch Cruises were down right crazy. Shortly after leaving the bay on our Wake up with the Whales Cruise, we were met with a Mom/calf pair. We got some good looks at them as they headed north but before too long, we were distracted by a couple of big adults who were pec slapping. Apparently they weren’t making a big enough impact on each other with their pectoral flippters, because one of these two whales started breaching and breaching and breaching. We counted 10 breaches before he reverted to slapping his huge pectoral flippers on the water. On the way back in to the bay a different whale surprised us with a breach just about 100 yards off our stern.

Guests on our Late Morning Whale Watch Cruise we met a very young calf who’s dorsal fin was still bent over (calves’ dorsal fins are bent over at birth so they can slide more easily out of their Mom’s birth canal). While we watched the calf cavorting on the surface, a third whale (the escort) surfaced nearby. Mom and her escort sounded, leaving the baby on the surface. After awhile, Mom surfaced again but we had no idea where the escort had gone…until a guest standing at the stern said, “Hey, what are these two big white fish under the boat”? You guessed it — those “white fish” where actually the pectoral flippers of the escort who was floating underneath us and checking us out before surfacing just 10 feet away at our stern!



Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: When we see a Humpback wave his pectoral flipper, it looks really floppy — as if there were no bones inside it at all. But if you were to x-ray that flipper, surprisingly, you’d find all the same bones and joints that we have in our arms — all the way down to the smallest digits of our fingers. According to researcher Spencer Wilkie Tinker, Humpbacks are missing what would be the third finger on a human.