Lots to report from our weekend of whale watching. On Friday’s 10:00 Cruise from Kawaihae, a very active and aggressive competitive pod spent a lot of time with our boat. Guests got to see a lot of head lunges and shoving. At the at the end of the cruise, the whole pod took a turn towards us, cruising right along side the boat. Saturday, we found ourselves surrounded by Humpbacks all day. We saw lots of competitive pods — lots of Mom/Baby/Escort pods — and lots of breaching, pec slapping and tail lobbing.And on our Sunset Cruise, we not only saw all of the above…but a pod of Spinner Dolphins found the boat and put on quite a show. During the late afternoon, the Spinners wake-up from their daytime resting period and begin the procces of getting ready for their cruise out to deeper water to feed on the vertical migration of small squid and weird fish like lantern fish…so getting to see them at this time of day is always a treat. Not only do they love to ride our bow wake, but we get to see lots of end-over-end flips, spins, arcuate leaps, and tail lobs. On Sunday, we operated private cruises all day from Kawaihae Harbor…and though most of them weren’t strictly for Whale Watching, the whales didn’t know that. As is usual for this late in the season, most of what we saw revolved around the female Humpbacks taking care of their calves, and the rest of the Humpbacks creating next year’s calves. We saw lots of Mom/Baby/Escort pods, and lots of competitive pods. It seems like it’s a much rarer occurrence for a Humpback to be alone this time of year than in the beginning of the season.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: In 1918, in effort to stockpile more beef, mutton and pork to send to the American troops fighting the 1st World War, the US government sponsored a luncheon at the American Museum of National History in New York featuring Humpback Whale meat. Several dignitaries were invited (including Admiral Peary) to feast on the menu created by the Head Chef of Delmonico’s, and were quoted saying the meat tasted like pot roast or venison. During the luncheon, the museum’s “reliable sources” reported that if all of the 7 operational whaling stations on the Pacific Coast began processing whale for food (instead of for fertilizer), more than 20 million pounds of whale meat could be distributed to the American public during the summer months alone at a cost of 12.5 cents/pound. The idea never really caught on with the American public though