On Monday’s Wake Up With the Whales Cruise, we saw at least 8 different pods of 2 whales each. We also got to see humpbacks very close-by twice. Each time we were idling, and each time the whale popped up about 50 feet from us, clearly taking a look at the “strange floating object on the surface”. And for a grand finale, we got to see a full breach right in front of the bay as we were headed back.
On our 10:00 Whale Watch, we spent most of our time watching a very quiet pod of two whales surface, spout a few times and then dive for 9 minute intervals. At one point they surfaced a little over 100 yards from us. We went out again at 12:30 and spotted a very active lone whale just north of the harbor. This guy was moving fast. He finally met up with 3 other whales about 4 miles up the coast. Our lone whale must have found what he was looking for as the pod began interacting — milling around on the surface, tail slashing twice and fluking. They began moving up the coast as a unit, swimming about 5 knots. We paralleled them for awhile before we finally had to break off and head back to the harbor. We got another grand finale on this cruise as a lone whale breached about 100 yards off our starboard side when we were almost back to the harbor.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: In the early part of the 19th century, whales were hunted for more than just their blubber (which was used primarily as lamp oil). The meat was used mainly for fertilizer, the baleen was used for umbrella and corset stays, and their organs were processed to extract vitamins.