We saw lots of whales on all three Whale Watch Cruises on Tuesday so instead of giving you a cruise by cruise run down, I’ll just share some of the highlights. Several times throughout the day we were approached by curious whales who spent time cruising under our boats and alongside. We saw lots of Mom/Baby/Escort pods (typical for this time of year), and a few competitive pods. No matter which way we looked throughout the day, we saw splashes from breaches, head lunges, and tail lobs. Our favorite encounter all day though was with a very small but very energetic calf. Sometimes it appears to us that a Humpback Calf is just the embodiment of joy! And when we dropped our hydrophone throughout the day, we did pick up some clear and loud singing (which is much more what we expected than the silence we heard on Monday).
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Though we don’t get to witness it here (at least not very often), Humpbacks have devised a very creative way to feed called “Bubble Net” feeding. A cooperative pod will dive under schools of krill, herring or other small fish. One whale will begin swimming in circles, and blowing bubbles out of his (or her) blowholes. Bubbles, as they rise, expand, which creates a “net” entrapping the prey. Once the prey are balled together inside the circle of bubbles, the whales will take turns lunging through the middle of the circle to gulp their lunch. The whole process is accompanied by lots of vocalizations, culminating in a loud “shriek” right as the bubble net reaches the surface and right before the whales surface…we’re pretty sure the loud noises help to scare the fish upward and further compact the “bait ball”.