Guests joining us on our Wednesday 10:00 Signature Cruise from Kawaihae got to see a variety of cetaceans. Our first sighting was of a lone humpback who spouted and then took a 20 minute breath-hold dive. After watching him surface again, we headed north and found two “smallish” humpbacks. They also were on long breath hold dives – 17 minutes. But after seeing them dive the first time, a pod of very active spinner dolphins came over to check us out. While they were jumping and spinning and leaping, the Humpbacks surfaced again (maybe to see what all the excitement was about?). We watched them amongst the dolphins…and then when they dove we watched the dolphins play all around us again. On our way back to the harbor, most of us got to see our lone whale from the beginning of the charter breach…and then we all saw another pod of playful spinner dolphins.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day
ocean, and comes up to breathe every couple of minutes. We call this behavior “logging’ as the whale looks a lot like a floating log.
We had a great weekend of Whale Watching. Since we ran a LOT of charters, I’ll just report on the highlights. On Friday’s Whales and Cocktails we were delighted to watch a calf breach more than 30 times in a row! This energetic little guy was accompanied by his Mom and an escort…later in the same trip we saw another Mom/Baby/Escort pod with another energetic calf. This time we got to see a lot of tail lobs and pec slaps from the baby. We also saw a couple of HUGE adult breaches from different whales.
On Saturday’s 10:00 Whale Watch we got to see a pod of two adult whales really interacting with each other. The smaller of the two was doing a lot of diving and then surfacing right next to the other whale. We also saw a cow/calf/escort pod…and then watched something really interesting. We found a Mom/Baby pod in about 25 feet of water just north of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. The mom was floating on the surface, and every 25 minutes or so, would take a few breaths. Baby was swimming around her fairly actively. Captain Matt had seen this pod doing the same thing for a couple of days, so he called the experts at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary who said that they had been observing the pod for a few days too. They assured us that this was natural behavior…most likely the adult was sleeping (or resting).
On Sunday, Captain Paul on the 10:00 Whale Watch Alala reports a “great show” that started with a pod of Spinner Dolphins just outside of the harbor. We headed south on that trip and encountered 3 different Mom/Baby pods, only one of whom was accompanied by an escort. We did get to see a lot of breaching from one of the calves…and we also saw 2 adult Humpbacks we had never seen before. One of them had a split dorsal fin, and the other looked like it had two dorsal fins…one in the regular place, and one just above his flukes. Very interesting…we hope to get photos of these whales from one of our guests and if we do, we’ll post them on our Hawaii Ocean Sports Facebook page.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Humpback Whales don’t sleep as soundly as we do — if they did, researchers believe that they’d drown. Humans breathe in response to carbon dioxide build-up in our blood, but Humpbacks and other marine mammals have to keep part of their brain awake at all times so they remember to breathe. When a Humpback sleeps, he floats just under the surface of the ocean, and comes up to breathe every couple of minutes. We call this behavior “logging’ as the whale looks a lot like a floating log.