On Tuesday’s Breakfast with the Whales, we encountered a competitive pod of 4 whales (one of whom we’re pretty sure we watched in a competitive pod on Monday, based on the markings on his flukes). For awhile, we watched two of the whales in this pod swimming belly to belly. Mom had her calf out in front of the group, and though to our naturalist Ryan the calf looked tired, Ryan did report that the calf was definitely keeping up with the group. We also encountered another pod with a very active tail lobber. At one point, this whale had about 80 percent of his body out of the water while lobbing…it looked like a backwards breach. On our way back to the bay, we found another pod of Mom/Baby/Escort, and watched them swim along the surface. On our 10:00 Whale Watch we saw lots of breaches and and had a couple of close encounters with whales swimming by who swung over to check us out. And we went out again at 12:30 and had a great encounter with with a Mom and her calf who decided to swim right under our boat. We deployed the hydrophone on both of these trips and heard some very loud, clear singing. We finished the day with sightings of 20 different whales on the Whales and Cocktails Cruise. We found one Mom with her Baby (no escort) and lots of pods of 3 whales. We saw some pec slapping and some beautiful fluke dives on this trip too.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Researchers have observed that female Humpbacks don’t associate with each other at all while they’re in Hawaii. This is especially interesting in light of the fact that the females do associate with each other in Alaska — they’ll even feed cooperatively there. Since the females come here just to mate (and calve), we can postulate that female-female interaction must somehow get in the way of successful mating. Maybe groups of females would attract too many competitive males for safe mating to occur….what do you think?