In the Humpback World, Who Chooses Who?


The Humpback calves were up early to greet us on Thursday’s Wake up with the Whales. We saw 4 different Mom/Baby pods, and as is often the case, the calves were curious about the boat. We got a couple of close encounters with different calves approaching our idling boat within about 50 yards. We also watched a very quiet competitive pod. This pod consisted of Mom and her baby and two other adult humpbacks of similar size following them. There wasn’t much of a chase, and we didn’t see any overt aggression between the males, but after watching for about 15 minutes, we saw one of the males swim away. Makes us wonder exactly what was going on…did the female somehow send a message about which male she preferred to accompany her? Was one of the males obviously stronger? Or did the male who left finally get a good look at the female and decide he wasn’t attracted to her after all?
On the 10:00 Signature Whale Watch from Kawaihae, we found a Mom/Baby/Escort pod just outside the harbor. After watching them for awhile, we moved up the coast and saw another Mom/Baby/Escort pod. Baby came over to our idling boat, and while we were watching him watch us, another Mom/Baby/Escort pod surfaced on the other side of the boat! And if that weren’t enough…we also got to see a big breach off our bow. On the Whales and Cocktails Cruise, we saw 5 different Mom/Baby/Escort pods. We got to see one of the moms breach 4 times, and the babies were just going off like popcorn popping in a pan.
Have a great weekend…I’ll send out a recap of the weekend’s highlights on Monday!
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: We don’t always need to deploy our hydrophone to hear the whales singing. When singing whales are very close to the boat, their songs reverberate through the hulls. The uneducated sailors long ago thought that these sounds they were hearing through the holds of the ships were actually sung by sirens (or mermaids).

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