Our week got off to a great start! On our 10:00 Whale Watch from Kawaihae, Captain Paul reports a very active competitive pod. There were 5 whales involved (at least while we were watching) and they were quite energetic. We all got to see countless pec slaps, tail lobs and peduncle throws, and these whales seemed to be most curious about our boat while it was making noise. When we turned the engines off to drift, the whales took the competition away from us, but as soon as we powered up, they turned back towards us. On the Whales and Cocktails Cruise we found a pod of 7 medium size to really large whales. These whales were really interested in the boat and spent a long time right next to us. We saw several spy hops, lots of pec slaps, and got great views of each of them as they swam underneath the boat from port to starboard and back again. Normally when we see a pod of that many animals, we see lots of competition, and lots of aggression…but this pod just seemed to want to look at our boat.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Starting out as a way to pass time between whale sightings and hunts on the whaling ships in the mid18th century, “scrimshawing” (or the art of carving intricate designs on to whale teeth, bones and baleen) survived until the ban on commercial whaling went into effect. The etched designs were originally produced by sailors using sailing needles, and were colored with candle soot and tobacco juice to bring the designs into view. Today, hobbyists still create scrimshaw — but they use bones and tusks from non-endangered and non-protected animal species like camels, buffalo and even warthogs