It’s been another windy weekend in Waikoloa, and that’s caused us to have some interesting Whale Watches. On Friday, our 8:00 Breakfast with the Whales reports seeing 4 Humpbacks — 2 of them were about 100 yards away from us. We watched these close-up whales for most of the trip. They’d surface, spout a few times, and then sound for 10 minutes. We got to see lots of fluke shots, and noticed that one of our whales had mostly black flukes, and the other had a distinct white spot on each side of his flukes. We got to see our all black-fluke whale perform 2 peduncle throws (always exciting to see)! On our 10:00 Whale Watch from Kawaihae, the wind was a-blowin’ but we saw 3 Humpbacks spouting. We did deploy the hydrophone on that trip, but only picked up faint songs (often, when the wind blows hard, it’s difficult to keep the microphone deep enough for good resolution). On Sunday, our 8:00 Breakfast with the Whales trip reports seeing 3 different pods of Cow/Calf/Escorts. Lots of spouting going on, but no real surface displays to report….we weren’t able to deploy the hydrophone on this trip either. On our 10:00 Whale Watch, we saw 3 whales. One was spotted in the beginning of the trip, South of the harbor. And a little later, we came upon a Cow/Calf pod. Baby was really pretty small, and as with most calves, interested in us. After they sounded, we shut the engines down and just drifted for awhile, waiting to see where they’d surface next. And then, our depth sounder alarm went off — they were 10 feet under the boat! On our 3:00 Whales and Cocktails, Captain Baker reports finding a very active competitive pod. We felt very lucky that we were able to watch the surface fight and chase for more than 40 minutes.
Join Ocean Sports for a Whale Watch Adventure you’ll never forget. Call us at 886-6666 ext. 103 or visit www.hawaiioceansports.com to reserve your spot today.
Humpback Whale Fact of the Day: Though we don’t get to witness it here (at least not very often), Humpbacks have devised a very creative way to feed called “Bubble Net” feeding. A cooperative pod will dive under schools of krill, herring or other small fish. One whale will begin swimming in circles, and blowing bubbles out of his (or her) blowholes. Bubbles, as they rise, expand, which creates a “net” entrapping the prey. Once the prey are balled together inside the circle of bubbles, the whales will take turns lunging through the middle of the circle to gulp their lunch. The whole process is accompanied by lots of vocalizations, culminating in a loud “shriek” right as the bubble net reaches the surface and right before the whales surface…we’re pretty sure the loud noises help to scare the fish upward and further compact the “bait ball”.