Our Monday Wake up with the Whales Cruise started out with sightings of lots of whales in the distance, but as the saying goes, “it’s not over till it’s over”. Towards the end of our cruise we got to see two tail lobbers, some pectoral slapping and 5 breaches all within a couple hundred yards of the boat. Guests on the 10:00 Cruise from Kawaihae got to watch a competitive pod of 5 whales for most of the cruise. Though there were whales breaching and splashing everywhere, this group kept our attention. They were quiet at first, and then something spurred them to action and we got to see lots of peduncle throws from them. At one point, they dove under us, and surfaced within 100 feet. We got to see several spy hops within 50 feet of us. When we deployed the hydrophone we heard a symphony of singing too.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: When you see the spout from a whale, you’re actually looking at an interesting combination of things. Some of what you’re looking at is condensation from the whales’ lungs (the same thing you’re looking at when you see your own breath after exhaling in a cold environment); some is atomized ocean water (Humpbacks live in a wet world, and there’s always some of the ocean pooled on top of their blow holes when they surface); and…since Humpbacks don’t have cilia in their respiratory tracks (little hairs)…a lot of what you see (and occasionally feel) is actually mucus! Yuck!