Long Distance Humpback Swimming

Aloha, We ran 5 different Whale Watch Cruises on Thursday. Highlights included a very active pod of 3 on our 10:00 Whale Watch – mom, her baby, and an escort. The escort did multiple pec slaps, allowing us to really get an idea how big that pectoral fin actually is. Baby did his best to keep up with the adults as they moved pretty quickly down the coast. On the Private afternoon Whale Watch, we saw lots of different Humpbacks. They were mostly moving down the coast line, so we saw lots of spouts and lots of flukes. And on our Whales and Cocktails Cruise, the whales were pretty mellow. We saw lots of dorsal fins from the surfacing whales, allowing us a good view of the variation in size and shape of those fins. We also saw a lot of flukes as the whales began their longer deeper dives. When we deployed the hydrophone on this trip, we were able to hear many different voices, but none of the singers’ voices was distinct, leading us to believe that a lot of the activity was occurring further off shore. Mahalo and have a great weekend, Claire

Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: In Sept. 2013, Dianne Nyad completed a record breaking 110 mile swim from Cuba to Florida – but in the Humpback world, that’s nothing. Migration between Alaska and Hawaii is around 3500 miles. But Humpbacks can swim even further than that. In 2001, a Norwegian tourist snapped a photo of a female Humpback in breeding grounds off the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. When he found the photo again in 2010 and posted it, researchers were able to match the flukes to a photo they had taken of the SAME whale in breeding grounds off the coast of Brazil — which means she had swum more than 6000 miles! Researchers aren’t sure what motivated the whale to swim across the Atlantic– until this whale was identified in both places, it was assumed that Humpbacks only travelled across latitudes, not longitudes. Which just goes to show you…we still have a LOT to learn.

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