We had great Humpback sightings all day on Thursday. On our 10:00 Signature Whale Watch from Kawaihae, we found a competitive pod of 4 whales — Mom and her baby, and two escorts competing to be just one escort. Mom did a good job of keeping her calf away from the two guys. She put her body between her calf and them…and we saw lots of lunging and a couple of peduncle throws from the competing males. According to Captain Baker, our Whales and Cocktails Cruise was “stellar”. It took us about 30 minutes to get out to three spouts we saw as we were leaving the bay.When we got to the whales, they acted VERY happy to see us. Mom, baby and escort spent 90 minutes right at our boat. If our arms were about 2 feet longer (and if it were legal), we could have touched them for most of the time! The whales were clearly looking at us from below the surface and above, spy hopping, and lifting their heads horizontally too. And it wasn’t just baby who was interested…the adults were right there with him. We saw a few peduncle throws from the escort and a few tail lobs too…We wondered what those whales must have been thinking, listening to all the shouts of excitement coming from that floating object in the middle of the ocean!
Have a great weekend…I’ll send out a recap of what we saw on Monday,
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Humpback Whales (and, in fact, all Baleen Whales) demonstrate something called “reverse sexual size dimorphism”. This means that an adult female Humpback is larger than an adult male (by about 5%). Though researchers are not sure of the exact reason for the difference in size, they theorize that the increased size allows the female to store more reserves to feed and care for her calf, and also to give birth to a bigger calf who might have a better chance of survival than a smaller one. Average length for a fully grown female Humpback is around 45 feet. At her heaviest, she weighs 35 – 40 tons.