Wet and Windy
February 5, 2024
We had another wet start to our weekend of Whale Watching.
Guests braving the rain for Friday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise caught glimpses of whales spouting and breaching through the rain, but the highlight of the trip was when 4 Humpbacks nearly surrounded our boat. We had whales off our port side, and whales off our starboard side and Captain Jason even had to take the boat out of gear when a Humpback surprised us by surfacing 20 feet from our bow. We also got some good views of a very small calf. Unfortunately, we had to leave and head back to the bay before we got a glimpse of Mom, but we were sure she was resting right below her baby.
By Sunday, the skies had cleared up but it sure was windy! Guests on our Mid-Morning Whale Watch Cruise from Kawaihae saw spouts in every direction. Just outside the harbor, we spent some time watching a lone smallish Humpback spouting and sounding. We got some good views of his dorsal fin before we took off to watch a pair of Humpbacks. These two were in sync with each other and we saw them together on the surface several times, coming up for a few breaths before diving again. When we looked south towards Puako, we saw some full breaches (and the resulting splashes) but it was waaaayyyy too windy for us to venture down to see them any closer.
Ocean Sports Whale Fact of the Day: In our February 2nd Whale Report, we discussed how Humpbacks can keep cool in our warm Hawaiian waters, which brings up the question of how they can maintain a consistent body temperature when swimming in cold Alaskan waters. Besides their protective layer of blubber, they actually have something called a “counter current” circulatory system. Some arteries in their flippers, flukes, and dorsal fin are surrounded by veins, allowing some heat from the blood traveling through the arteries to be transferred to the venous blood returning to their hearts, instead of being lost to the environment.