We saw lots of Mom/Baby/Escort pods on our Wake up With the Whales Cruises on Monday. Guests on Manu Iwa got to watch baby whale breach repeatedly. Guests on Seasmoke also got to watch an active calf breach a bunch of times. They also saw a couple of Manta Rays at the surface…and watched these rays breach too! When we began our 10:00 Whale Watch on Alala from Kawaihae, there wasn’t much going on at the surface. We saw some spouts and dorsal fins but not much else, so we decided to put the boat in idle and drop the hydrophone. What a treat! We got to hear some very loud and clear singing. We could tell by the volume that at least one of the singers was within a mile or so from us, and the others were a bit further away.. On the way back to the harbor, we found a cow/calf pod. Baby seemed to be intent on practicing her surface behaviors. We were delighted to see lots of little tail lobs, pirouettes, and a couple of breaches. All of our “oohs” and “ahhs” must have peaked her interest too, as she approached us to take a good look at what was making all that noise!
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Humpbacks can maintain a consistent body temperature even when swimming in cold Alaskan waters. How do they do that? Besides their protective layer of blubber, they actually have something called a “counter current” circulatory system. Some arteries in their flippers, flukes, and dorsal fin are surrounded by veins, allowing some heat from the blood traveling through the arteries to be transferred to the venous blood returning to their hearts, instead of being lost to the environment.