Quiet Moms and Babies and Wanna Be Escorts

We started out our last Friday of Whale Season with, as our on board naturalist Angelica, put it, “a Great Trip”! On the 8:00 Breakfast with the Whales, we saw 4 Humpbacks. The first two were spotted just as we exited the Bay. They looked to be adolescents (in the 30 foot long range), and weren’t doing a whole lot besides surfacing and breathing…and then we saw spouts from Mom and Baby, so we made our way over to them. The Baby was really small…an end of the season calf, and the two of them were on 2 minute breath hold dives. We spent the remainder of our trip with this pod, watching them travel along the coast. As we headed back into the Bay, we had a bonus surprise as we all got to see a Manta Ray “flying” and somersaulting right below the ocean’s surface. On our 10:00 Whale Watch from Kawaihae, we saw 3 Humpbacks. We found a Cow/Calf pod and once in awhile we saw a third whale sort of nearby. We’re pretty sure he was an escort (or trying to be one) but we didn’t see him much so we can’t be sure. We didn’t hear any sounds when we deployed the hydrophone, so not only were there no male singers in our vicinity, but Mom and Baby were being quiet too. Some researchers have observed that females with very small calves often are quiet (not vocalizing much) presumably because they don’t want to attract the attention of those wanna-be escorts.
There’s just one weekend left of our Spectacular 2011/2012 Whale Watch Season. Don’t miss your chance to say “aloha” to our Humpbacks! Call us at 886-6666 ext. 103 or visit www.hawaiioceansports.com to reserve your guaranteed adventure today! And our Guarantees never expire….
Humpback Whale Fact of the Day: In 2004, a company called Whale Power was founded by Dr.Frank Fish, Dr. Phil Watts and Stephen Dewar. The company builds fan blades shaped like a Humpback’s Pectoral Fins with tubercles on the leading edge. The ironically named Dr.Fish was inspired to develop the prototype after looking at a sculpture of a Humpback, and pondering how (or if) the bumps on the front of the whale’s fins would help him move efficiently through the water. He and his partners enlisted the help of the Navy and used their wind tunnel to discover that tubercles break up air (or water flow)…and now with the whale-inspired design, Whale Power’s turbine blades are not only more efficient than smooth blades, but they never stall out violently like smooth blades do, and thus don’t damage the turbine engines. The company’s motto… “A Million Years of Field Tests”.
Mahalo and have a great weekend. I’ll send out the next (and last) whale report on Monday. If you have any other questions about the Humpbacks that you’d like me to answer, please email me over the weekend.
Captain Claire

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