The wind just hasn’t quit in Waikoloa, so we ran our Tuesday trips out of Honokohau Harbor (which is just south of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary waters). On our 10:00 trip we saw two whales, mostly spouting and sounding. But the Whales and Cocktails cruise started with a bang. Just as we left the harbor, we found a very excited calf who must have breached about 30 times (who can keep count when there’s that much to see??!!). We stayed with this little guy (who we named “Eddie”) and his mom (who we named “Cindy Lou”) and their escort for the entire trip — well, actually, they stayed with us. Mom didn’t seem to mind at all that we were there, and in fact, at one point she brought Little Eddie right over to check out the boat. We all couldn’t believe how active this little guy was..After doing multiple somersaults and waving his little pectoral fins in the air, Little Eddie seemed to decide that laying on his side and watching us watch him was an interesting way to spend his Tuesday afternoon.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Whale Fact of the Day: All these new calves we’ve seen this season bode well for the future of the Humpback population in the North Pacific. According to research results released in 2008 by SPLASH (Structure of Populations, Levels of Abundance and Status of Humpback Whales in the North Pacific – a research project involving more than 400 researchers in 10 countries) there are approximately 18,000 – 20,000 Humpbacks living in the North Pacific, with the population wintering in Hawaii seeing a 5.5% – 6% annual rate of increase since the early 1990′s.