Surrounded by Activity


Monday morning brought us calm winds (finally) but a pretty big swell. The whales didn’t seem to mind the water movement though, because we saw and heard a LOT without going very far from shore. On our Wake up with the Whales Cruise on Manu Iwa, we found ourselves surrounded frequently throughout the trip. Every direction we looked, we were seeing spouts and flukes. We got to see 4 different Mom/baby pods — none of them appeared to be accompanied by escorts, and a couple of different other adult humpbacks pec slapping and peduncle throwing. The whale song was really loud and clear when we dropped our hydrophone. If you’d like to hear a snippet, click here.The same thing happened to guests on Seasmoke’s Wake up with the Whales — surrounded by Mom’s and babies! That trip started with an additional treat though — guests got to see a huge pod of spinner dolphins who found the boat to be an object of fun. On our 10:00 Cruise on Alala, we got to watch a pod of  Mom/Baby/Escort for almost the whole cruise. They were pretty calm and quiet but the baby did try to approach us several times. At the end of the cruise, the baby woke up a bit, rolling around on the surface and slapping his pectoral fin just a bit. On our Whales and Cocktails Cruise, we got to see a spyhop in the beginning of the cruise, followed by a couple of very active breaching calves (we got to see their mom’s surface, but no signs of any escorts). We also got surprised when an adult humpback decided to breach about 400 yards away from us.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: According to researchers, the sleep process for a Humpback is most likely very similar to how their little toothed cousins, the dolphins, sleep. EEG readings from sleeping bottlenose dolphins show that the dolphins shut down half their brains at a time to rest – a process called “uni-hemispheric slow wave sleep”.  Mallard ducks and some species of seals sleep this way too. The active half of the brain presumably is monitoring breathing and perhaps scanning the surroundings for predators, while the passive half is resting. Bottlenose dolphins sleep approximately 33% of the day, but stay asleep for only a couple of hours at a time.

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