It was a windy day on the water on Wednesday, so we weren’t able to run most of our cruises, but guests joining us on our 8:00 Wake Up with the Whales had a great time watching a baby breach. Those calves always look so cute and uncoordinated to us. We also saw another Mom/Baby pod, and 8 or 9 other adult Humpbacks
On our 10:00 Cruise from Kawaihae we got to witness a wide variety of behaviors. Just out of the harbor we encountered a sub-adult humpback who was kind of curious about us. This whale spent some time checking us out as we all got a good view of him (or her — we couldn’t tell). This whale was joined by another whale and they must have felt a little bit of animosity towards each other because one of them started peduncle throwing. Later in the cruise we got to see 6 consecutive breaches — some by Mom, and some by her calf. We also saw lots of spouts and flukes of whales close to the shoreline…and lots more breaching by whales out to sea in the wind.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: An average size adult Humpback has 2 oval shaped blowholes that measure about 9 inches in diameter (on the bigger part of the oval). The whales use them like you use your nostrils, exhaling through both before inhaling. If an average size human had nostril openings in the same proportion to his size as a whale’s blowholes are to the whale’s body size, each human nostril would measure about an inch and a quarter in diameter (I just measured my own, and they’re only about 7/16ths of an inch wide — the things we do for science…).
We took a step back from watching whales on Tuesday to take in the view. Clear blue skies, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa capped with snow, and calm seas. But of course, the presence of the whales just added to the beauty. On our 10:00 Whale Watch, we saw 6 different adult humpbacks. They all spent a good amount of time underwater, but we did get good views of their blows, dorsal fins and tail flukes. One whale surfaced about 100 yards from our idling boat, and we got a great view of his head and blow holes too. We also went out in the afternoon on a private Whale Watch. Guests aboard Seasmoke got to see a Mom/Baby/Escort pod just off of Hapuna. We haven’t seen many calves yet this year, so were especially excited to see this little guy.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: We frequently see Mom and Baby whale accompanied by a third whale. We used to think this was a female helping mom take care of her baby, but now that we can identify gender more easily, we know it isn’t – It’s a male. Though a new mom rarely gets pregnant perhaps due to infrequent ovulation, researchers believe that perhaps the male whale is “hoping to make a good impression” so when she is receptive, he may be the first to mate with her.
We started a great weekend of Whale Watching with sightings of 13 whales on our 10:00 Whale Watch including 3 spectacular breaches on the horizon. On this trip, we also saw a kind of lazy competitive pod. Our on board naturalist, Dr. Jonathan, thinks this is a pod of sub-adults just kind of going through the motions. On our Whales and Cocktails cruise, guests saw 10 different whales and a couple of horizon breaches too. Highlights from the rest of the weekend included, according to Captain Shane on his Saturday Whale Watch…”plenty whales and lots of action”. On Sunday, Angelica, our on board naturalist for the Whales and Cocktails Cruise reports that they just had to get out of the bay a few minutes before they had “whales in every direction”. Guests aboard that trip saw a total of 8 whales. 6 of them were on 15 minute long breath hold dives. They also saw 3 tail lobs and a couple of breaches on the horizon.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: An average size adult Humpback has 2 oval shaped blowholes that measure about 9 inches in diameter (on the bigger part of the oval) sitting side by side. The whales use them like you use your nostrils, exhaling through both before inhaling. If an average size human had nostril openings in the same proportion to his size as a whale’s blowholes are to the whale’s body size, each human nostril would measure about an inch and a quarter in diameter.