Double Breach, Close Encounters and a Symphony

We ran all kinds of Whale Watches on Thursday. On our 9:00 Kid’s Field Trip Cruise (yes – we run educational cruises just for our local school kids – and when I think of the boring field trips I used to attend, I have to admit I’m kind of envious) — the kids got to see about 15 different whales, including a couple of competitive pods. The kids also saw several Humpback Mom/Baby pods, and a couple of breaches from some adult Humpbacks. On the 11:00 Kid’s Field Trip Cruise, the kids saw a breach just 100 yards from the boat. They also saw a Mom/Baby/Escort pod – and the escort did some pec slaps. The water was so clear on Thursday, that you could see the outlines of the whales’ bodies as they swam just below the surface. On our Breakfast with the Whales Cruise, we watched Mom/Baby/Escort swim right underneath our bow, and then saw the dissolution of a small competitive pod. And we began our 10:00 Cruise with a double breach. We also got to hear some of the loudest singing we’ve heard this season when we deployed our hydrophone.
Just a personal note…I will be offline all next week, so Kay, our Director of Sales and Marketing, will be sending you the Humpback Updates from her email address! Have a wonderful week, and I’ll be back again for the report on March 17th.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day:Those lines we see under the Humpback’s mouth are actually pleats that allow for the expansion of her mouth when she feeds. This expansion, combined with her ability to flex her jaws, allows her to hold up to 15,000 gallons of sea water in her mouth at one time — that’s the equivalent of 160,000 cans of Diet Pepsi (or Budweiser) in every gulp — of course, she doesn’t swallow the water she gulps…just the unlucky fish that had been swimming in it.

Very, very loud singing and some competition

We had an incredible Whale Watch at 10:00 on Tuesday. We saw 14 different Humpbacks, but spent considerable time watching a Mom, her baby and an escort trying to keep another huge male at bay. We saw 3 body lunges from this group, and 5 head lunges, plus 2 pectoral slaps and 4 peduncle throws. We also got to see Mom and baby up close as they swam right under us about 30 feet deep. We got to see right up their blow holes! When we deployed the hydrophone later in the trip, the songs were incredibly loud. The bass notes literally shook the boat…we could actually feel (and see) the windows vibrating. Oh — and we also saw a couple of breaches during the trip. It was a great couple of hours! On our 3:00 Whales and Cocktails, guests saw a total of 6 whales. According to our naturalist Angelica, the first whales spotted were way South of the Bay, and a good ways out to sea. We did find a pod of two whales much closer though, and spent considerable time watching them travel along the coast. They were in a 3-4 minute dive pattern, surfacing, spouting a couple of times and then sounding for those shorter dives. We got to see lots of flukes from this pair.
Join Ocean Sports for a Whale Watch and see the action for yourself. Call us at 886-6666 ext. 103 or visit to reserve your adventure today.
Humpback Whale Fact of the Day: Biopsy samples taken from South Pacific Humpbacks show a ratio of 2.4 males for every female on the breeding grounds. A similar ratio has been observed in Hawaii. This suggests either 1). Female Humpbacks can afford to be choosy with their mating partners…or 2). Female Humpbacks are overwhelmed by aggressive males and bullied into mating.
Captain Claire