Patience is a Virtue when Watching Humpbacks


We woke up to beautiful skies and a beautiful ocean on Monday. On our 10:00 Signature Whale Watch from Kawaihae, we found a couple of Humpbacks surfacing lazily just outside the harbor. This pod of two adults was on 8 minute dives…so after watching them for a bit, we headed up north to where we saw a couple more spouts close to shore, and found another pod of 2 quiet humpbacks, These two were coming up to breathe a bit more frequently than our first pod — we got to see them every 4 minutes or so. And once again, patience paid off for us, as just before we were going to turn the boat back to the harbor, these two decided to surface really close to the boat. There’s something so magical about not just getting to see, but getting to hear those spouts too. On the way back to the harbor we all saw some huge splashes from whales breaching a couple miles off shore. Those splashes sure got our attention, making us wonder what all those whales closer by were thinking about all that action.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Researchers watching Humpbacks feeding in Stellwegan Bay (off the coast of Massachusetts) documented a variety of previously unknown feeding techniques along the seafloor. Humpbacks there weren’t just bubble-netting. They were spending a lot of their feeding time totally submerged. With the aid of “Critter Cams” the researchers were able to document three distinct feeding approaches: simple side-rolls, side-roll inversions, and repetitive scooping. Why does this matter? Now that we know how Humpbacks move when they’re underwater, we can take steps to reduce their vulnerability to entanglement to bottom set fishing gear.

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