Wednesday was our last 9 Whale Watch Charter day this week. What was most interesting is the differences between what we saw on the cruises…especially because we departed from the same locations and had very little time in between cruises. Guests joining us on our first Seasmoke Cruise got to see lots of spouts and flukes from pods of two adult Humpbacks. We also saw a few pectoral slaps, and a few peduncle throws happening from a pod of three whales. As we gazed out to the horizon, we also saw some huge splashes from breaching whales. Just one hour after we returned from that cruise, we departed again, and this time we saw so many close-up breaches that we actually lost count. We were watching a competitive pod of 5 adult humpbacks for the first hour of the cruise, and these whales came right up to our boat, swimming across our bow, diving and surfacing on all sides of the boat. We also saw a bunch of head lunges and tail lobs, and a couple of double pec slaps. After about an hour of non-stop activity, this pod took a deep dive, and either separated, or swam off fast and far, because we never saw them again (though we did see spouts, flukes, and plenty of other whales). After that incredibly exciting cruise, we went out again two hours later. This time, it took us awhile to even see a spout. But the whales found us, and we ended up watching 6 different pods of two adults, and towards the end of the cruise, got to see a Mom/Baby/Escort pod. To us, it appeared that baby was leading the adults around…since baby kept changing directions, followed by mom and the escort. They came pretty close to our boat, checking us out too. We actually got to watch baby lying on mom’s rostrum, and as mom swam, we got to watch the baby roll right up her head and onto her blowholes!
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Researchers have observed that Humpback calves are very playful, investigating all kinds of objects in their environment (including our boat), interacting with their moms, and even interacting with passing pods of dolphins. But for as many calves as we see in Hawaii during the winter, we never have observed the calves playing with each other. Though we’re not sure why this is, perhaps the new moms won’t allow a calf not her own to approach, because she doesn’t want to feed the wrong one.