We spent our last full weekend of Whale Watching with lots of Moms and their calves. We also saw a few competitive pods of 3 and 4 animals doing their usual competitive behaviors — lunges, full body blocks and bubble blowing. Looking a bit further away, we saw lots of splashes from breaches, peduncle throws and tail lobs the past few days. And it wasn’t just on our official Whale Watch Cruises that we saw whales. For instance, on Saturday’s Snorkel Cruise guests saw two adult humpbacks cruise by. We can certainly tell it’s April though…sightings are much less frequent, and the population we’re observing is skewed towards Moms, their calves, and the competitive pods.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: What does a Humpback whale drink? We know the Humpback doesn’t sip on ocean water – he can’t because he’s a mammal and the salinity of his tissues is less than that of the ocean (so, like us, if he drank salt water, he’d dehydrate and die). We also know there’s no fresh water to drink from in the ocean. When the whale is feeding, we know he gets liquid from the tissues of the fish he’s digesting…and we know calves get liquid from their mother’s milk. But how does the Humpback survive through the breeding season when he’s not feeding? It turns out that one of the main by-products of fat metabolism is the production of water. Humpbacks burn a lot of fat during the breeding season and because they are much more efficient users of the water they produce, they can survive. They don’t have tear ducts, sweat glands or salivary glands…and they have incredibly efficient kidneys which concentrate salt in their urine.