Slow Motion Breaches

Monday brought us some really blustery conditions, and it was challenging finding the whales, but when we did…oh boy, was it worth it! On our 10:00 Whale Watch, we saw a total of 15 whales and saw 6 breaches. One of those breaches was only about 25 yards away. When it’s that close, you really get an idea of how big a Humpback actually is, and it looks like slow motion as the whale launches herself completely out of the water.We also saw 4 tail lobs, a peduncle throw and 4 pec slaps. It was too windy for us to deploy our hydrophone, but our onboard naturalist Jonathan played some tapes of the whales, so everyone got to hear the differences between the singing that goes on in Hawaii and the vocalizing in Alaska.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Whale Fact of the Day: Though we’ve mentioned before that only male Humpback Whales “sing”, all Humpbacks make noises and apparently use these sounds to communicate with each other. Researchers have witnessed cooperative feeding behaviors among the Humpbacks apparently“triggered” by sound, and have also witnessed Humpback Cows (moms) apparently ignoring some sounds made by their calves (researchers called these sounds“goo-goo, ga-ga” noises), but responding immediately when the calves made particular squealing noises. So it appears that Mom recognizes her baby’s voice!

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