On Wednesday, we ran two exclusive charters on Alala out of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. On the first trip, we encountered a pod of about 20 Spinners just outside of Crystal Cove (past the Pioneer building near Kawaihae Harbor) at about 9:30. At 10:30, we saw the same pod in the same location, but now there were about 50 dolphins! On our second trip, we went back to the same location, and saw what was probably the original pod…but they had been joined by even more dolphins, so we saw about 70 animals in all! We didn’t see any small calves in the group, but we did see several sub-adults. And the Dolphins did come to the boat to bow surf — they performed only a few spins and tail lobs.
Dolphin Fact of the Day. Researchers believe that Spinner Dolphins perform a large percentage of their aerial behaviors because it’s “their job”. It’s been observed that the frequency of leaps and spins increases right around the time the dolphins are waking up and heading out to sea in the early evening. Perhaps the dolphins can echo locate the bubble plumes created when they land from a spin more easily than they can echo locate each other — which means that spinning might be a great way to keep track of the rest of the pod. Of course, a lot of the spins may be performed for the same reasons that Humpback Whales breach….to knock off parasites, or just because it’s fun!