We had a beautiful day on the water on Monday…with the trade winds blowing, we were not only able to see all the mountains on our island but Haleakala too! Both of our morning cruises departed from Kawaihae on Alala, and though they were back to back, we had different experiences on each. Guests joining us on the Wake up With the Whales Cruise were greeted with a very active, curious, and playful pod of Spinner Dolphins, As soon as this pod heard our boat, they made a bee-line towards us and spend considerable time jumping, spinning, and riding our bow wake. After playing with them for awhile, we headed towards some spouts off in the distance. These turned out to be from a very quiet Mom and Baby humpback, who were just breathing and resting on the surface. Though we didn’t approach them closer than 100 yards, they spent considerable time on the surface, so we all got a good look at them.
On our 10:00 Signature Whale Watch, we headed out towards where we had left our Mom and baby…but on the way there, found a different Mom and calf. We sat and watched baby as he swam a complete circle on the surface…and then got to see Mom swim a complete circle around her baby. These two were accompanied by an escort – and all three of them had pure white pectoral fins that just glowed with that beautiful luminescent turquoise color whenever the whales were near the surface. After watching this trio for awhile, we saw some big Humpbacks breach a little further out, so we headed that way. By the time we got there they were done breaching, but they both surfaced giving us a good view of them. And finally, on our way back into the harbor, we found one more Mom/baby pod. The little guy was doing everything he could to breach, and as we watched, he almost was able to pull it off – more of a flop than a breach, but we though we couldn’t agree what to call what we we seeing, we all had to agree it was very cute!
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Humpback whales, and actually all Cetaceans, have a highly developed sense of touch. We know this because they have a lot of nerve endings right beneath their skin, and there’s a lot of blood flow to the nerve endings. Plus they touch each other a lot. Also, when researchers take pencil-eraser sized plugs of skin and blubber from whales to study their DNA (and when you consider the size of the whale, that’s a pretty insignificant amount of skin), they report seeing the whales flinch.