Motorboating and Piggy Backing

Aloha,
Tuesday’s Whale Watches brought us all kinds of activities. On the Breakfast with the Whales, as we left the bay we found a competitive pod of 5 whales. They were really battling it out, with lots of tail lobs, motorboating (this term describes exactly what it sounds like it describes…whales moving through the water with their heads angled up so they look like boats), and even some piggy backing. And right after we saw this pod of 5, another competitive pod of 4 popped up right near us. This pod was clearly out of breath as we heard lots of trumpeting from them. We also ran a special 10:00 Whale Watch for the kids from Laupahoehoe. On this cruise, we saw 16 different whales, but the highlight definitely was watching baby and mom take turns breaching (4 times), head lunging (twice) and pec slapping (3 times).¬† And on our Whales and Cocktails cruise, we saw 16 whales. We saw LOTS of pec slapping, 9 peduncle throws (from different whales) and several different competitive pods. The last pod we watched was a a pod of 4, and though we all wished we could see what was going on below the surface, based on what we could see from above, it must have been a big shoving match. From our vantage point we got to see lots of twisting fluke dives, and lots of whales on top of other whales.
Mahalo,
Claire
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Researchers are not sure how Humpbacks find their way from Alaska to Hawaii each winter…after all, Hawaii is the most isolated land mass in the world. Since small particles of a form of iron called “magnetite” have been found in Humpback’s brains, some researchers theorize that the magnetite acts like a magnet, helping the Humpbacks to feel the magnetic pull of the earth and keeping them on track. Other researchers disagree, claiming that the Humpbacks swim in such straight lines¬† when they migrate that they must be orienting themselves with a combination of methods, including some celestial markers like the position of the sun during the day, and the stars at night.

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