Our Wednesday 10:00 Signature Whale Watch allowed us to see two spectacular sights. First, we got to see a very large Humpback, just hanging at the surface for awhile. He (or she — we weren’t sure) was very recognizable because of the large white racing stripe on his dorsal fin which was about a foot long and maybe a hand’s width wide. This whale spent a considerable time just sort of resting and spouting and finally dove, never to be seen by us again. And then…on the way back to the harbor, we were cruising along looking in all directions when a smaller humpback surfaced off our port bow. Of course we slowed to an idle and watched this guy spout a few times and dive. We figured that would be the last we’d see of him but he surprised us all by doing a full-on breach right in front of us. This whale was totally out of the water…tail and all…and unlike those breaches that happen far from us, everyone was looking in the right direction to see it! On our Whales and Cocktails Cruise, Captain Kealohi reports seeing a couple of different pods of spouting whales. These whales also appeared to be relaxing — we didn’t see any aggressive surface activity — but when we lowered our hydrophone, we heard some singing so we know those male humpbacks are arriving.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: All whales, regardless of species, age, or gender make noises. Only Humpback whales sing an organized song…and only male Humpbacks sing. We used to believe that the males only “sing” when they are in the warmer waters where they mate, though now that we’re listening more closely, we have heard the males singing a bit in their colder feeding waters (mostly at the end of feeding season prior to the beginning of the migration). So, is the male Humpback singing a mating song? Researchers have observed that female whales will not approach a singing male, so if this is a mating song, it seems to be a pretty ineffective one.