We took two boats out for our Tuesday’s Wake up with the Whales Cruise. On Seasmoke, we saw lots of humpbacks surfacing and fluke diving, but spent most of our time with a Mom/Baby/Escort pod. Baby surfaced much more frequently than the adults, and at one point, much to our delight, circled our idling boat. On Manu Iwa, we found at least 10 different pods of whales. Most of them were adults, but we did get to see two different Mom/baby pods (both accompanied by escorts). One of these little calves was pretty curious about us and we watched as he kept surfacing closer and closer till Mom finally had enough of it and pushed him away from us. For a grand finale at the end of our charter, a fully grown adult humpback breached just 50 yards from us. We knew he was there, but we sure didn’t know he was going to breach…and that’s why whale watching is so addictive. You just never know what you’re going to see, and even while you’re seeing it, it’s often difficult to believe your eyes.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Traditionally, the Hawaiian people did not hunt whales. It may be because they didn’t like the taste of the meat, or it may be because the spirit of the whale was so powerful…But if a toothed whale did end up on a beach (whether it died at sea and was blown ashore, or actually beached itself), only the ali’i (royalty) were allowed to possess any part of the whale. Carvings made from a whale’s tooth called “Niho Palaoa” brought mana (roughly defined as a spiritual force”) to the both the carver and the wearer of the pendant.