Unusual Dolphin Joins Humpbacks


Our Friday the 13th started off really lucky for guests on the Wake Up with the Whales Cruise. Not only did we see 3 different cow/calf/escort pods, but we got to see a double breach within about 100 feet of the boat. On the 10:00 Cruise from Kawaihae, we watched a competitive pod dissolve before our eyes. We stayed with the losing male for awhile, watching him tail lob more than 40 times. Then we went in search of the Mom/Baby and winning escort. We found them right on the wind line, and as soon as the wind moved in, the baby went crazy – breaching more than 30 times.
On Saturday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise, we found a couple different Mom/Baby/Escort pods. The first pod was swimming quietly and we didn’t want to disturb them, so we cruised past them to another pod where a baby was breaching repetitively. When we deployed the hydrophone on this cruise, we heard some very loud and clear sounds, so we know there was a lot going on below the surface too. On our Whales and Cocktails Cruise, Captain Mark found a large competitive pod of 8 or 9 whales (difficult to count) just south of Anaeho’omalu Bay. Before we got to them, we saw a lot of breaching going on, and while we watched, the pod split into two pods — half of whom stayed right around our boat, lunging and blowing bubbles for more than 30 minutes.
On Sunday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise, we saw 5 different Cow/Calf pods, lots of peduncle throws and lots of pec slaps. The highlight of the cruise though was watching an adult humpback breach fully out of the water about 150 feet behind our idling boat. On the 10:00 Whale Watch from Kawaihae, Captain Ryan reports an unusual sighting of a dolphin accompanying Mom Humpback and her calf just outside the break wall at the harbor. This lone dolphin was acting just like a whale, diving and surfacing in conjunction with the Humpbacks. The dolphin looked a lot like a Spinner, but his dorsal fin was a bit more hooked — maybe a juvenile Bottlenose? Guests got to watch this unusual trio for the entire duration of the trip…at one point, actually seeing all three sound together. Mom didn’t seem bothered by the dolphin’s presence, allowing her calf to interact with him…and even when another small competitive pod showed up and seemed to veer the dolphin away from Mom and her baby, the dolphin returned as soon as they left. As soon as I get a photo from Captain Ryan f this unusual dolphin, I’ll post it.
Hope your weekend was as great as ours!
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: When we say we heard LOUD singing, just how loud do we mean? Well, Humpback whales have been recorded producing sounds at around 185 decibels. Because the decibel scales use different references for sounds underwater than through the air, that’s the equivalent of about 123 decibels for us on the surface…which is as loud as the amplified music at a rock concert when you’re standing directly in front of a tower of speakers.