Captain Dan's Blog

Archive for January, 2014

Captain’s Log January 14th, 2014

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

This winter has kicked off another great start to the amazing annual
humpback whale migration. Literally, hundreds of animals have arrived in
Hawaii, their warm water breeding grounds. At Dan McSweeney’s Whale
Watching Adventures, we have already seen several humpback mothers and their young calves. It is always a delight to witness the youngsters as they
first learn to jump or breach. They are often playful and have a natural
curiosity for things floating in the water around them, namely boats.
Every so often one little youngster might swim right up along side to try to
get a closer look. With each passing day, more moms and calves will
continue to arrive in the warm waters around the Big Island. While we have
been encouraged with the numbers of moms and calves already here on the
breeding grounds, their numbers will actually peak during the months of
February and March. Fortunately, with the enjoyment of federal protection,
the humpback population continues to rebound, climbing by nearly 7%
annually.

This has been an amazing introduction into winter as not only
have we been pleased by the notorious humpback whales but we have seen
dozens of false killer whales as well. These are tropical cousins to the
black and white killer whale most of us know of as ‘Free Willy’ from the
movie. The false killer whale is solid black in color and gains in name
because it shares many of the same behavior traits with the killer whale
Orca. Although they have the dubious distinction of being Hawaii’s newest listed endangered marine mammal they are among the favorites of whale watchers who often get to view them in pursuit of fast moving prey. Equally, we have been treated to the presence of dwarf sperm whales as of late. These medium-sized whales resemble their larger relatives, the giant sperm whale of Moby Dick fame, but the dwarf sperm whales are closer to the size of a large dolphin as their name implies.

Speaking of dolphins, virtually every tour has the privilege of
viewing these marine mammals frolicking along the shoreline. The spinner
dolphin is probably the most well known in the islands, made famous for its
spinning behavior where it launches itself from the water and spirals as
many as seven revolutions before crashing back down on the surface of the
water again. Definitely an all time favorite, spinners are seen almost
daily along the Kona Coast. Each tour is different as we never know what
Mother Nature might gift with at any time. To indulge in your whale watch
adventure, book today by calling us direct at 808-322-0028. We look forward
to seeing you aboard.

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