As usual, a whole weekend’s worth of whale watching provided us with way too much to
talk about in one email, so I’ll just recap a few of our favorite cruises.
Our weekend started out fantastically with guests seeing the whole gamut of surface activities on Friday’s Wake up with the Whales. Not only did we see 5 different Mom/Baby/Escort pods, but we got to see lots of full breaches, pec slaps, tail lobs, and head lunges too! On Friday’s Whales and Cocktails Cruise, all the action was right in front of the Hilton Waikoloa Village where we found a Mom and her calf. We got to watch a competitive pod form as two males approached Mom and baby. Once these guys got to where Mom and Baby were resting, they got really active — we couldn’t believe our eyes as we watched them smack each other with their pectoral fins and peduncles, and shove each other around with their huge rostrums. On Sunday’s Wake up with the Whales on Alala, we found a Mom, Baby and Escort right outside of the harbor. We enjoyed watching them surface multiple times, but since we didn’t want to bother them, we decided to leave and check out some action a bit further down the coast. This turned out to be another Mom/Baby/Escort pod. This time we got to see baby breach, followed by Mom, followed by the Escort. And right after that, both adults breached again! And finally, on Sunday’s Whales and Cocktails Cruise we had two close encounters in the beginning of the cruise by two different whales. After that excitement, we headed out to sea a bit and idled. Two humpbacks spent over an hour RIGHT under the boat, spouting between the trampolines and all around us. We saw a breach and a tail lob 30 yards from us. The whales wouldn’t leave, and finally, Captain Ryan had to roll out the staysail so we could get back. As we started to sail away, one of the whales chased us down and followed us back to the bay.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: You may have read about the entangled Humpback whale that was just freed by the Whale Entanglement Response Team off the Maui coastline (if you haven’t, click here )…but did you notice the route taken by the whale since it was first spotted off the Hamakua coast? In the space of a week, this whale circled the Big Island, and then crossed the Alenuihaha Channel to Maui — all while entangled in more than 200 feet of heavy line and crab buoys. Pretty amazing — and we know it’s common for Humpbacks who aren’t all tangled up to swim between the islands too — not in any particular direction we’re aware of. Some travel south to north, and others north to south…much like our human visitors!