Guests joining us on our Wednesday 10:00 Signature Cruise from Kawaihae got to see a variety of cetaceans. Our first sighting was of a lone humpback who spouted and then took a 20 minute breath-hold dive. After watching him surface again, we headed north and found two “smallish” humpbacks. They also were on long breath hold dives – 17 minutes. But after seeing them dive the first time, a pod of very active spinner dolphins came over to check us out. While they were jumping and spinning and leaping, the Humpbacks surfaced again (maybe to see what all the excitement was about?). We watched them amongst the dolphins…and then when they dove we watched the dolphins play all around us again. On our way back to the harbor, most of us got to see our lone whale from the beginning of the charter breach…and then we all saw another pod of playful spinner dolphins.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day
ocean, and comes up to breathe every couple of minutes. We call this behavior “logging’ as the whale looks a lot like a floating log.
On Tuesday’s Wake Up With the Whales Cruise, guests saw 8 different humpbacks. We spent most of our time with a Mom/Baby/Escort pod. Baby was kind of fussy…doing a couple of tail lobs and then rolling on his back and doing a couple of pec slaps every now and then. We saw one breach about 1000 yards from us by a different adult humpback. When we stopped to deploy our hydrophone, not only did we get to listen to some very loud and clear sounds, but while we were sitting there, baby decided to surface – followed by Mom and the escort — and all three of them cruised by us just about 100 feet away. On the Whales and Cocktails Cruise we also saw about 8 different whales — all adults. We saw one breach about a mile away, a peduncle throw and a single tail lob — all from different whales. We also had a close encounter when two big humpbacks surfaced just 50 feet from us.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: According the website of the International Whaling Commission (the international agency overseeing whaling) the only countries with people allowed to hunt Humpbacks under the Aboriginal Sustenance Hunting program are a tribe in Greenland (who were allowed 9 West Greenland Humpbacks annually for the years 2010-2012, and 10 Humpbacks annually in 2013 and 2014), and the Bequian people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who were allowed a total of 20 Humpbacks between the years 2008 and 2012 and a total of 24 Humpbacks between the years 2013 and 2018. The IWC specifically bans the killing of calves..