After searching and searching and searching, we finally found one whale just outside of the harbor on Thursday’s 10:00 am Whale Watch. We did find it kind of ironic that we drove all over the place looking for Humpbacks only to find one right where we started! It was a totally different story for us on our Whales & Cocktails Cruise. We found our first whale about 5 minutes after we left the bay. We watched this Humpback spout twice, and then he was joined by another whale who wasn’t quite as peaceful. Whale number 2 did a couple of peduncle throws, landing right on top of whale number one. We could hear them both trumpeting (breathing really hard) when they surfaced. We got to see a few more partial peduncle throws, and then they did a deeper dive showing us their flukes (one was almost all white). We thought the show might be over, but then a third whale surfaced and started swimming towards our duo. At this point, all three began swimming and surfacing around our boat, and they were so close to the surface that we could see the turquoise reflection off their white pectoral fins (which makes them appear to be glowing). They made almost a complete circle of us before swimming on. But it wasn’t over yet. We saw 7 more whales throughout the course of the charter, bringing us to a grand total of 10 Humpbacks…on a charter on April 10th (the season isn’t over yet folks)! When we deployed the hydrophone, we did hear some singing (but it was pretty faint).
Mahalo and have a great weekend!
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: It is very possible that Humpback Whales did not migrate to Hawaii prior to the “golden age of whaling” in the 1820’s. Not only have we not discovered fossilized remains of Humpbacks on the islands from before that time, we’ve never found petroglyphs of Humpbacks from before the 1820’s either. Also, there’s no word in the Hawaiian language for the Humpback whale (though there is a word for whale – Kohola). No commercial whaling occurred in Hawaii, though whalers did re-provision and spend the winters in Hawaii (especially in Lahaina). And…most interesting is the fact that no mention of humpback whales has been found in the log books of whaling ships anchored off Lahaina – and the whalers were paying attention to the presence of whales, since any whale taken meant MONEY. Perhaps the whaling taking place in the North Japan Sea at that time forced the Humpbacks to find new migratory destinations eventually bringing them to our shores.