We had a wild show on Tuesday’s 10:00 Whale Watch. We found a competitive pod of 8 whales right off of Puako. We’re guessing it was composed of one female and 7 males…but we suppose it could have been just 8 competitive males. Regardless, we watched this group for our entire whale watch. We saw lots of trumpeting, lots of whales shoving other whales around, bubble blowing, chin lifts, peduncle throws and well…the ocean was churning from all their surface activity. It’s exhausting just trying to recount this…we can only imagine how exhausted the whales must be feeling! And on our Whales and Cocktails Cruise, our onboard naturalist Angelica, reports that it was the best trip of her life! Leaving the bay, we saw what we thought was a competitive pod because we could see lots of splashing. As we approached, we realized it was a Cow/Calf/Escort pod. The adults were acting really aggressively towards each other…lots of chasing, lunging, and trumpeting, and it appeared to us that the poor little calf was just trying to stay out of the way. Apparently in the midst of all this chasing around, Mom saw our boat because she turned right towards us, leading the male to us too. All three of them spent the next hour swimming back and forth from side to side and bow to stern under the boat. At one point one of the adults did a tail lob so close to the stern that it splashed all of us! Baby seemed to like looking at the boat (very curious)…and as we watched this incredible show, the whole boat was rocking from the waves these whales were creating. The other interesting thing we noticed was as these whales spent more and more time using our boat for whatever purpose they were using it, they did seem to calm down a bit. We’re not sure if they were getting tired or just found us to be an interesting diversion.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Whale Fact of the Day: The maternal instinct of the Humpback is so strong that she’ll even take care of other small animals in danger! In 2009, 2 scientists sailing off the coast of South America watched as a pod of Orcas flipped a Weddell Seal off an ice flow. The seal began swimming towards a nearby Humpback. Just as the seal got close, the whale rolled onto her back, sweeping the 400 pound seal onto her chest. As the Orcas closed in, the Humpback arched her back, which lifted the seal out of the water…unfortunately for the seal, the water rushing off the whale started to wash the seal back into the sea. The scientists were astounded to see the Humpback use her flipper to gently nudge the floundering seal back onto her chest…moments later, the seal slid back into the water and swam to the safety of a nearby ice flow.