We’re seeing a very strong start to our 2011-2012 Humpback Whale Season. Over the weekend, both the Seasmoke (departing from Anaeho’omalu Bay) and the Alala (departing from Kawaihae harbor) reported multiple sightings during each two hour cruise. Coincidently, guests and crew aboard each of our trips reported seeing 7 different whales during their cruises (were they the same whales??? We’re not sure — but since the season is just beginning we think it’s safe to guess that at least a few of the 7 are travelling the 10 or so miles between the bay and the harbor).
On Saturday, the Seasmoke crew deployed the hydrophone and heard what they described as some “very interesting sounds”. Perhaps they were hearing the newest version of the Hawaii Humpback’s song. And last night, guests aboard our Whales & Cocktails Cruise were treated to 15 breaches (some quite close to the boat), 2 pectoral slaps, and some interesting “tail sailing” activity (that’s when the whale lifts his tail straight out of the water and lets the wind blow him around…this behavior is often explained as an efficient method for the whale to cool down — evaporation can decrease the temperature of the blood close to the surface of the skin, and Humpbacks have a lot of surface capillaries in their flukes.
Humpback Whale Fact of the Day: It takes an average of a little over two months for the Humpbacks to migrate from the summer feeding grounds in Alaska to Hawaii (although at least one Humpback was seen in Alaska and then in Hawaii just 45 days later). That means on average, the Humpbacks are swimming about 4 knots (a little bit faster than we travel when taking a brisk walk)!
Ocean Sports offers 3 Whale Watch cruises daily. For more information or reservations, please call us at (808)886-6666 ext. 103.