For the next three days, there’s a big convention on the island (SAP), so we’re running 9 different Whale Watch Cruises every day. And since it’s still height of the season for the Humpbacks in Hawaii, we’re seeing too much to report in one email…so I’ll just list some highlights from a couple of our trips. On the Alala, guests got to see a Mom/Baby/Escort pod up close. The seas were calm, so we were just idling, and baby kept approaching closer and closer every time he surfaced. Generally, we’ll watch Mom get fed up with that activity and eventually push her baby away, but not today. All three of theses whales came right up along side of the boat and stayed there for quite awhile. We also got to see baby breach several times! On our last cruise of the day on Seasmoke, we saw our first Mom and Baby pod about midway through the cruise, but we spent most of our time watching a competitive pod of 5 whales in a very aggressive chase. These whales didn’t care that we were there as they kept changing directions all around us. We watched one of the big males head lunge with an open mouth right on top of another whale at least a dozen times. We also got to watch lots of shoving at the surface — we could see one of those big guys push his big head right into the side of another whale and shove him aside. The whale in front of the chase (we’re almost positive it was a “she”) expressed her displeasure or excitement or irritation with a couple of pec slaps and peduncle throws…but mostly she just kept changing directions. We finally had to leave the pod to head back to the bay…and on the way back we had a couple more close encounters with a lone humpback, and then with a very small calf and his mom. Baby had a very angled dorsal fin and was pretty light in color so we’re guessing he was pretty young.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: A baby whale, called a “calf” looks so small and cute when seen playing with her Mom. But everything is relative…when the calf is born, she can already be 10 to as much as 15 feet long, and she weighs 2000 to 3000 pounds! The calf is about 26 feet long when it’s weaned (at 10-11 months).