The weather cleared on Thursday, so we ran all of our cruises. As usual with a busy day, there’s just too much to report for one email, so here’s what we saw on just one of those cruises. On our 10:00 Whale Watch on Alala from Kawaihae, we started the day with a pod of Spinner Dolphins. As soon as those little guys heard the boat, they came right over to play in our bow wake. We got to see some very lively little dolphin calves spinning and jumping…but not to be outdone, the adults in the pod did some incredible twists and twirls too. After we passed the dolphins, we found a competitive pod charging around on the surface. We paralleled this pod for several minutes and they led us to two separate pods of Mom and her baby. Each of these babies was very active. For awhile, we were watching one calf breach repetitively off the port side of the boat, while the other was breaching off the starboard side. We also saw lots of flukes and spouts from other adult Humpbacks in the area.
Have a great weekend — I’ll send out a recap of our weekend sightings on Monday.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: How do Humpbacks keep their cool when swimming through our warm Hawaiian waters? During prolonged exercise in warm water, excess heat is shed by increasing circulation to a network of capillaries (in Latin they’re called “retia mirabiliia” which translates to “miracle network”) near the surface of the Humpbacks’ flippers, flukes and dorsal fin — the excess heat is shed to the external environment. In fact, many researchers believe that whales lifting their pectoral fins into the air, or resting with their flukes exposed vertically are actually trying to cool off.