We had two really run Whale Watches on Thursday. On our 10:00 Whale Watch from Kawaihae, we saw a total of 8 whales — two of them were a mile or so away, but the other 6 put on quite a show. We watched a very active calf (think of any hyperactive 2 year old human kid you’ve ever met and you’ll get the idea). This baby pec slapped, double pec slapped and tail lobbed so many times that we had to stop counting at 20 for each activity and just enjoy his antics. And as if that weren’t enough, we also saw 3 full breaches just 25 yards from the boat from a couple of adults. An on our Whales and Cocktails Cruise, as we were making our way out of the bay in the beginning of the trip, we saw a full breach…then a bunch of tail lobs…then a bunch of peduncle throws about 500 yards from us. The whales kept this up…but they were moving at about the same speed we were, so we got to watch a lot more of this activity from about 500 yards away. We did have one close encounter on this trip, when a smaller whale surfaced just under 100 yards from us, blew, and dived again. In all, we saw 15 different whales on this trip.
Mahalo and have a wonderful weekend. I’ll send out a weekend recap report on Monday.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Why would a whale waste the energy to throw the back half of his or her body out of the water in a Peduncle Throw (sometimes repetitively)?? Since the whales aren’t telling, all we can do is try to interpret their behavior in terms of what else is going on in their lives at that moment. We know that Humpbacks very rarely eat while they’re in Hawaii, and since a Peduncle Throw is a huge expenditure of energy (if you don’t believe me, try it yourself next time you’re in the ocean), it’s got to be important to the whale. Throwing half of yourself out of the water results in a huge splash and might be a way to communicate location, health, excitement, aggression or irritation to near-by whales. Especially if the near-by whale happens to be so near that he gets landed upon!