Our weekend began with an incredibly calm Friday morning — so calm, in fact, that some of our whales seemed lulled into sleep (or at least a deep doze). Guests aboard our 8:00 Breakfast with the Whales cruise encountered a whale behaving very unusually. He (or she) was lying on the surface in the typical “sleep” posture, breathing occasionally. But every minute or so, he was raising his caudal peduncle (the thin part of the tail) and lightly slapping his flukes on the water. As he drifted by us (we had our engines off so as not to disturb him), he began breathing really heavily — it sounded like snoring! We saw 20 whales on that trip, and a couple of pec slaps too. On the Whales and Cocktails cruise, we found 4 different Cow/Calf/Escort pods, and followed some pretty heavy competition from a different competitive pod. On Saturday, we began our 8:00 Breakfast with the Whales cruise with a sighting of a tiny calf literally just outside the Bay in about 40 feet of water! We were speculating that Mom had to be holding her stomach in to not be scraping up against the reef. After watching baby, Mom and escort surface a few times, we spotted a competitive pod of 4 whales — one of whom was inflating his mouth with air and then clapping his jaw shut (another aggressive display). We also saw a calf from a different pod breach 3 times in a row (although the last attempt resulted in sort of a half breach/half splash). This baby was curious about us, and led Mom and the escort right under our bow. Total whale count for that trip was17. On our 10:00 Whale Watch, we saw 8 Humpbacks, and really enjoyed the time we spent with a pod of Spinner Dolphins. While we were watching the dolphins surfing on our bow wake, a couple of Humpbacks popped up very close to the boat, and the dolphins decided it was time to play with the whales! On our 3:00 Whales and Cocktails, we saw 12 whales, but spent almost the whole trip watching a competitive pod of 5 whales. There was lots of jaw clapping and throat inflating from one of those whales, and we finally saw 3 breaches as we were returning to the Bay. On our Sunday 8:00 Breakfast with the Whales, we saw 14 different whales, but spent most of the trip with a Cow/Calf/Escort. We watched as another male tried to join the group, exuberantly breaching about 100 feet from our boat! Towards the end of the charter, we encountered a competitive pod of 3 whales and saw some lunging and general “shoving around” (though we know that’s not the technical term for what we were seeing). On the 10:00 Whale Watch we saw 6 different whales, and to finish off the weekend, on the 3:00 Whales and Cocktails, we saw 11 whales, but our most exciting siting was when Mom, her baby, and an escort swam right along side the starboard side of the boat!
Join Ocean Sports for a Whale Watch during the height of our Whale Watching Season. Call us at 886-6666 ext 103 or visit www.hawaiioceansports.com to reserve your adventure today.
Humpback Whale Fact of the Day: I’ve talked a lot about the song that only the male Humpbacks sing, but Humpbacks of both genders vocalize. In 1986, researchers off the Maui coastline broadcast the sounds that female whales make while they’re feeding — the sounds attracted all kinds of male whales. We’re not sure if those males were attracted to the sounds of females feeding because the Humpbacks are fasting and hungry while they’re here, or if they were attracted to the sounds of females feeding, because it’s mating season!