Guests joining us on Thursday’s Wake up With the Whales got to see the whole gamut of competitive activities. It was pretty windy out there, but Captain Baker found us a competitive pod of 4 adult humpbacks (no calf). While we were watching, two more males joined the fray. We saw at least a dozen breaches, and too many head lunges, pectoral slaps and tail lobs to count. We also saw a few peduncle throws from the competing males (either that, or the peduncle throws were from the female trying to express her excitement…or irritation….while all this was going on, it was difficult to keep track of who was being chased and who was doing the chasing). We were able to keep up with this group on a parallel path for more than 45 minutes before we finally had to turn and head back to the bay. With less than a week left for our Whale Watch Season, we’re really treasuring these moments. And we’re pretty sure that the Humpbacks still remaining around Hawaii are treasuring every encounter they’re having with each other too!
Mahalo and have a great weekend. I’ll send a recap of the weekend’s sightings on Monday.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: The barnacles called “Coronula diadema” live only on Humpback Whales, and they seem to prefer to live on areas of the whale where the water flow is consistent (chin and fins). Though researchers aren’t completely sure how the barnacle can even find a whale to live on, there is some speculation that because the barnacles are spawning during the winter in Hawaii, the whales here are swimming in “barnacle larvae soup”. When a whale swims by, those “baby” barnacles chemically sense it, and hop on where ever they can. They use their antennae as “feet’ and walk around the whale till they find a suitable spot (which can take quite a while… if the barnacle were the size of a person, the whale would be 20 miles long). Once they find a spot they like, they flip over and produce tube-shaped cavities in their shells that actually draw in prongs of growing whale skin, holding their position on the whale for life.