Wednesday morning’s Wake Up with the Whales on Manu Iwa was a magical cruise. Not only did we see our first whales before we had even left the mooring (spouting just outside of the bay), but as we left the bay, we encountered two other Humpbacks even closer to shore than our first whales. The whole cruise was like that..whale after whale after whale. There really wasn’t a time when we weren’t seeing a dorsal fin, tail, or spout for the entire two hours. When we deployed the hydrophone, we heard lots of singing too. And if that weren’t good enough, Captain Will spotted a pod of about 20 Bottlenose Dolphins (pretty rare for us to see). AND, the dolphins swam over to us, AND several of them spent a good half hour jumping over the whales. It really looked like something you’d see at Sea World when those dolphins were performing perfect arcuate leaps over the whales. We also saw some pec slapping, lots of fluke dives, and were approached within about 30 feet by a baby whale who just had to get a look at us. Mom was pretty relaxed about it, letting baby turn towards us and swim alongside the starboard hull before she came up underneath her calf, lifted him a little with her rostrum, and pushed him gently away from us. On the Whales and Cocktails Cruise, we also saw lots of Humpbacks. They were all pretty quiet, surfacing just to spout and dive, but we did see a few pec slaps. The highlight of this cruise was a toss-up…we got to see Mom/Baby and a HUGE escort pretty close up. We were idling when baby decided to come check us out which was really exciting…but we also got a close-up visit by two big adult humpbacks.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Whale Fact of the Day: Researchers report that Humpbacks in Alaska can consume a ton of food in a day. Their diet consists mainly of very small fish like herring, capelin, sand lance and krill. Based on the calorie count of herring, a Humpback in Alaska is consuming 1,500,000 calories each day!