The weather cleared on Thursday, so we ran all of our cruises. As usual with a busy day, there’s just too much to report for one email, so here’s what we saw on just one of those cruises. On our 10:00 Whale Watch on Alala from Kawaihae, we started the day with a pod of Spinner Dolphins. As soon as those little guys heard the boat, they came right over to play in our bow wake. We got to see some very lively little dolphin calves spinning and jumping…but not to be outdone, the adults in the pod did some incredible twists and twirls too. After we passed the dolphins, we found a competitive pod charging around on the surface. We paralleled this pod for several minutes and they led us to two separate pods of Mom and her baby. Each of these babies was very active. For awhile, we were watching one calf breach repetitively off the port side of the boat, while the other was breaching off the starboard side. We also saw lots of flukes and spouts from other adult Humpbacks in the area.
Have a great weekend — I’ll send out a recap of our weekend sightings on Monday.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: How do Humpbacks keep their cool when swimming through our warm Hawaiian waters? During prolonged exercise in warm water, excess heat is shed by increasing circulation to a network of capillaries (in Latin they’re called “retia mirabiliia” which translates to “miracle network”) near the surface of the Humpbacks’ flippers, flukes and dorsal fin — the excess heat is shed to the external environment. In fact, many researchers believe that whales lifting their pectoral fins into the air, or resting with their flukes exposed vertically are actually trying to cool off.
We only ran one Whale Watch on Tuesday and that was at 10:00 on Alala out of Kawaihae. We travelled up the coast and then down the coast and we never did see a whale. That doesn’t mean they’re gone…just means there are fewer of them around the island, and that we didn’t connect. Since our morning trips are guaranteed, we called that trip a “fluke” and all of our guests are invited back again on a Whale Watch for Free! This time of year, we often see Mom’s and Calves (they’re the last to leave…Mom will stay here till she knows her calf is big enough and strong enough to begin the swim back to Alaska) and whales that still want to mate. So the end of our Whale Watch season each year can be really exciting. Cute calves and desperation (due to lack of mating opportunities) can make for some really exciting encounters for us!
Join Ocean Sports on a Whale Watch before the season ends. Call us at 886-6666 ext. 103 or visit www.hawaiioceansports.com
to reserve your adventure today.
Humpback Whale Fact of the Day: To our untrained ears, the sounds we hear from our Hydrophones sound pretty random, though we have noticed the lack of certain phrases this year that we heard fairly often last year (most notably, a phrase that sounded like “whoop,Whoop, WHOOP, WHOOP WHOOP“). According to a paper published in the journal Current Biology, it turns out that our ears aren’t so untrained after all. Researchers have documented that the Humpback songs in the South Pacific are actually changing really quickly. Over the last decade, completely new song themes are appearing within a season. The researchers compared the radical evolution of the Humpbacks’ songs to human musical composition, suggesting that the themes are so novel, it’s as if whole new human musical genres were appearing that no one had ever heard just a few years ago.
Aloha and Happy Valentine’s Day!
Monday was quite a day for our little Humpback Whale Calves. On our 8:00 Breakfast with the Whales cruise, we saw a baby attempt 15 breaches in a row…by the end, he was quite the tired little fellow and could only get about half way out of the water. Mom and the Escort each breached too (maybe trying to show him the proper form…or maybe they were just getting a little irritated by all the commotion). We saw about 20 different whales on that trip, and had one nice fluke dive very close to the boat, so all of us got to see the pattern on the whale’s tail. On our 10:00 Whale Watch cruise, we saw 12 different whales, and watched a calf breach 22 times! We also saw 4 spy hops, 3 tail lobs, 2 body lunges, 3 head lunges, and one competitive pod of 4 whales. By the time our 3:00 Whales & Cocktails trip rolled around, everyone seemed to quiet down. We saw 4 whales, and spent most of our time watching a Cow/Calf/Escort pod who were swimming quietly and surfacing just to breathe.
Join Ocean Sports for a Whale Watching Adventure. We offer 3 trips daily departing from two different locations within the Hawaii Islands Humpback Whale Natural Marine Sanctuary Waters so we don’t have to travel far to see the whales! Call us at 886-6666 ext. 103, or visit www.hawaiioceansports.com
to reserve your spot today.
Humpback Whale Fact of the Day: A Humpback Whale has a big heart. An 80,000 pound whale’s heart averages just over 400 pounds, and according to research reported by the Nelson Institute of Marine Research, beats an average of somewhere between 10 and 30 beats per minute.