On our last day of the 2013/2014 Whale Season, we were delighted to see our favorite pod — Mom and her calf — on our Breakfast with the Whales Cruise. Despite the wind, these two whales were curious about us and surfaced twice fairly close to us. The first time, they were about 100 yards away, and the second time, about 200 yards away. We got to see baby’s flukes, and Mom’s peduncle as they dived below. We wish them well on their journey back to Alaska and hope to see them again next season. A Hui Ho Humpbacks! It’s been great watching you and having you watch and play with us.
And I’d like to say Mahalo Nui Loa for reading these reports and sharing them with our guests. I appreciated all your comments this season, and look forward to sharing our 2014/2015 Humpback Whale Season with you!
Captain Claire’s End-of-the-Season Humpback Fact of the Day: Our North Pacific Humpback Whale population seems to be thriving. Before the whaling days in the early 19th century, researchers estimate the Humpback population to have been about 20,000 — they base this estimate on reports from whalers. In 1966, when humans finally stopped killing Humpbacks and began counting them, the population was estimated to be only around 1400. When I began working as a naturalist on whale watch tours a little more than 20 years ago, the population was estimated to be around 5000 (which was great news, because it meant the regulations put in place to protect the Humpbacks seemed to be working — the population had more than tripled). In 2008, when the SPLASH project released their initial population count results, these researchers estimated the North Pacific Humpback population to be around 20,000 — and they observed that the population was increasing by 5.5% to 6% every year!