Trumpeting, Lunging, and Singing – Just another weekend for our Humpbacks in Hawaii

Hope you had as nice a weekend as we did!  We ran trips all weekend, with too many details to recount, but here are some highlights,
Our Breakfast with the Whales on Friday started out pretty mellow. We saw at least 10 different Humpbacks cruising throughout this trip, and had a nice close encounter when a smaller whale decided it would be interesting to surface next to our boat and swim right alongside the hull for a moment before diving again. On Saturday’s Whales and Cocktails, we saw a lot of surface activity from lots of pods of two, and when we deployed the hydrophone, it sounded as if the singer were actually singing directly into the microphone (of course we couldn’t see the whale, so we KNOW he wasn’t that close)! On Sunday’s 10:00 Cruise, we were found by a competitive pod of 5 whales. This group was very active on the surface, pushing each other around, head lunging and trumpeting. We saw several breaches from some other whales a bit further away too. Oh, and when we dropped the hydrophone, the sounds we heard were very clear and loud (meaning there were some submerged singers close by too).
Captain Claire’s Humpback Whale Fact of the Day: Traditionally, the Hawaiian people did not hunt whales. It may be because they didn’t like the taste of the meat, or it may be because the spirit of the whale was so powerful…But if a toothed whale did end up on a beach (whether it died at sea and was blown ashore, or actually beached itself), only the ali’i (royalty) were allowed to possess any part of the whale. Carvings made from a whale’s tooth called “Niho Palaoa” brought mana (roughly defined as a “spiritual force”) to both the carver and the wearer of the pendant.

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