Guests aboard the Ocean Sports Whale Watches had some great experiences this past weekend! Highlights include being surrounded by 3 whales on Friday’s 10:00 Whale Watch. One whale breached right near us…and another was very curious about us and after breaching on his own for awhile, surfaced right near the boat. We also saw tail slaps and peduncle throws during that trip.
On Saturday’s 10:00 Whale Watch from Kawaihae, a juvenile Humpback (about 30 feet long) must have decided that we were the most interesting thing in the ocean because he spent a good 90 minutes right next to the boat. He “mugged” us several times, and dove and surfaced on all sides of us. Our on-board naturalists Angelica and Gary are pretty sure this Humpback was a young male based on all the scarring near his dorsal fin (like many other male mammals, Humpbacks really shove each other around at times)! We also got to see the spout and flukes of another whale a bit further away from us during this cruise.
On Sunday’s 10:00 Whale Watch we saw 3 Humpbacks – one of whom was the same one we saw on Saturday (we could tell by his size, but the real give-away was the scars on his dorsal fin). Today, he was accompanied by another juvenile about the same size. These two stayed with us for about 20 minutes and at one point, our whale from yesterday did approach us and surfaced fairly close by. We also saw a breach from another whale further down the coast, so we went to investigate. This whale turned out to be quite a bit bigger than our first two, and after surfacing, did a longer, deeper breath hold dive.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: A fully grown Humpback Whale can hold his or her breath for around 45 minutes. Usually, that’s not what we observe in Hawaii though. We’re more likely to witness 10-20 minute breath hold dives, and if the whale is really active, s/he surfaces to breathe a lot more frequently.