Baleen Revisited

I hope everyone had a good week!
As the winds diminished on Monday, we had some great Whale Watch Cruises. On our Breakfast with the Whales, we saw multiple Mom/Baby/Escort pods – lots of spouting and fluke diving too. On our 10:00 Cruise, we saw more than one competitive pod with the kinds of surface activity you’d expect from male whales in close proximity of each other. We also saw lots of HUGE splashes from surface activity occurring all around us. As more and more Humpbacks leave Hawaii in March, it seems like the whales that are left here are getting more and more desperate to find a mate (or several mates), so the battles between them get more intense. On the Whales and Cocktails Cruise, we enjoyed some time with a Mom/Baby/Escort pod, but saw lots of other flukes and spouts too.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Humpback Whales don’t have teeth — they have approximately 270 – 400 pairs of baleen plates hanging from the top palate of their mouths ranging in length from a foot to about 3 feet long. Where the baleen is attached to the palate, it feels like a horse’s hoof — but it fringes out to form dense mats allowing the whale to “strain the soup of the ocean” when feeding. And in case you’re curious, Humpback baleen is black.

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