We started the week off with plenty of wind…but plenty of whales too. On Monday’s Wake up With the Whales, we saw 10 different Humpbacks. We also got to see a full breach which is always as appreciated as it is unexpected.
And on our 10:00 Whale Watch on Alala we had a pretty quiet first hour, just watching a couple of whales spouting and diving and spouting and diving again. Then we saw some splashing south of the harbor off of Hapuna Beach, so we headed down that way, and though we knew we’d have to fight the wind on the way back we were hoping we’d be rewarded with some pretty exciting activity. The decision paid off as there were 4 Humpbacks down there, and while we were idling, one popped up off our port bow causing a bunch of us to “ooh” and “ahh”…and if that weren’t exciting enough about 200 yards away from us another whale began tail lobbing, while yet another one started peduncle throwing repeatedly, and (it looked to us), aggressively. Since up until a few years ago December 15th was the traditional start to our Whale Watching Season, we find it remarkable how many Humpbacks are here already!
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: The order of whales is called “Cetacean”. The order is divided into two sub-orders, based on what’s in the whales’ mouths. Whales with baleen are in the sub-order “Mysticete”, and whales with teeth are in the sub-order “Odonotocete”. Researchers do not agree on the number of species in each sub-order, but the Society for Marine Mammalogy lists 14 species of Baleen Whales, and 72 species of Toothed Whales.
What a GREAT first week of whale watching we’ve had!
Guests aboard each of our whale watches this weekend were fortunate to not only see Humpbacks, but to see very young calves! On Friday’s Breakfast with the Whales, we saw a cow-calf pair, and we were delighted when we got to watch the baby do a little breach. We also got to see the smaller cetacean cousins – and not just the Spinner Dolphins we often see, but Bottlenose Dolphins too! On Friday’s Whales & Cocktails, we found a Mom and her baby about 2 miles south of Anaeho’omalu Bay. Mom was HUGE, and her calf was really small. Since we know that bigger females generally produce a bigger calf, we surmised this was a very young newborn. We stayed with them for awhile, and just as we turned the boat to head back to the bay, both Mom and baby breached simultaneously (our first double breach of the season). Mom then breached twice more as we bid her an Aloha for the evening.
Saturday and Sunday brought us more of the same…on each of our cruises, a Mom/Baby pair found our boat. On Saturday’s 10:00 Whale Watch we also got to see a super pod of more than 250 Spinner Dolphins. and on Sunday’s 10:00 Whale Watch we spent most of our time with a Mom and her baby but also saw a breach from a big whale in the distance (we know it was a big whale because it was a HUGE splash), and two other sub-adult whales near our Mom/Baby pod. On Sunday’s Whales and Cocktails, another Mom/Baby pair found our boat. We weren’t sure if baby was excited by the find, or just burning off some excess energy, but we got to see more than 35 lunges/breaches from this little guy!
Captain Claire’s Humpback Whale Fact of the Day:The order of whales is called “Cetacean”. The order is divided into two sub-orders, based on what’s in the whales’ mouths. Whales with baleen are in the sub-order “Mysticete”, and whales with teeth are in the sub-order “Odonotocete”. Researchers do not agree on the number of species in each sub-order, but the Society for Marine Mammalogy lists 14 species of Baleen Whales (including our Humpbacks), and 72 species of Toothed Whales (including both Spinner Dolphins and Bottlenose Dolphins).