Guests on both of our Whale Watch Cruises on Thursday got to experience the best that Whale Watching in Hawaii has to offer! On the Breakfast with the Whales Cruise we found Humpbacks just outside of the bay – we watched them for awhile, but were distracted by all the splashing going on about a 1/2 mile further. So went to check it out and found some whales that wanted to look at us. They came right by the boat more than once. We also saw pretty much every surface display you ever read about in the whale watching books – pec slaps, peduncle throws, head lunges and breaches! Guests on our 10:00 Whale Watch also had some great viewing. We watched a pod of three Humpbacks (most likely one female and two males – based on their behavior). The two we were assuming to be males got into a competition – shoving each other around – until one of them must have had enough and swam away, leaving the other two to swim off together out to sea. As we were all enjoying that sight, two whales that we didn’t even know were there surfaced right next to us, startling all of us with their loud spouts (if you’ve ever heard the powerful sound of a whale spout close by, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about) And if that wasn’t enough…for our grand finale, as we were coming back into the bay, we all got to see a big Humpback breach completely out of the water!
Mahalo and have a great weekend!
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Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: When we watch a surface active competitive pod of whales, we assume it is comprised of one female either leading or being chased by a group of males. It often appears that every male is competing with every other male for access to the female. Recently researchers have observed that male humpbacks may form coalitions, working together to corral the female so that one may have easier access to her.
We’re all very excited that Whale Watch Season has begun!
On our Wednesday 10:00 Whale Watch, guests aboard Alala were fortunate enough to spend 30 minutes with a juvenile Humpback who was cruising along side the boat as we headed up the Kohala Coast. Humpbacks are a protected species in the United States, so we can’t approach them in any way closer than 100 yards or do anything to alter their behavior… but the conditions yesterday were perfect for Captain Will to stop the boat and turn off the engines after the whale did a dive. Now we can’t say for sure that this whale was curious about us, but we can say that the whale wasn’t afraid – since he surprised us all by surfacing RIGHT NEXT TO US, giving us our first close encounter of the season.
We not only got to see several spouts from this whale, but we got to hear them as well! And if you’ve ever heard that WHOOOOOSH from a Humpback exhalation, you’ll know why we were so thrilled!
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Humpback Whales received protected status from the International Whaling Commission in 1966, banning most nations from hunting them. In the U.S., the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, and the Endangered Species Act of 1973 provide additional protection to the whales. In fact, unless operating under a federal research permit, approaching humpback whales within 100 yards (300 feet) or within 1,000 feet from aircraft is prohibited by federal regulations
Our Thursday Whale Watches began with 3 sightings on the Breakfast with the Whales Cruise. Our onboard naturalst Kane reports the whales had long bottom times, and performed no surface activities (other than coming up to breathe). Guests aboard the boat were really excited though when at one point, one of the whales surfaced just 50 feet from the boat. On our 10:00 Whale Watch, our on onbard naturalist Dr. Jonathan reports that guests saw 4 Humpbacks with one “pretty spectacular breach on the horizon”. He also tells us that when they hyrdophone was deployed they were able to pick up some faint singing, and says guests were excited by the two different close encounters (whales approaching us closer than 100 yards). And the action continued on to our Whales & Cocktails Cruise with guests seeing lots more spouts from at least 2 whales.
Join Ocean Sports for Hawaii’s Best Whale Watch Tours. Call us at (808)886-6666 ext. 103
or visit HawaiiOceanSports.com to reserve your adventure today.
Mahalo and have a wonderful weekend. I’ll send out the next report on Monday.
Captain Claire’s Humpback Whale Fact of the Day: When a Humpback spouts, he’s exhaling in a half of a second, 90% of the volume of air in his lungs. It’s enough air in one blow to fill up the interior of a mini van. In case you’re curious, when an average size human adult exhales, he takes 3 times as long to exhale just 15% of the volume of air in his lungs — and an adult exhalation wouldn’t even fill up a Smart Car — it’s only enough air to fill up a lunch bag.