Captain Dan's Blog

March 15th-22nd, 2012

March 15, 2012

This season of the year is a good time to see mother and calf humpback pairs. While much of the herd has begun its migration back to the Pacific Northwest, the mothers and calves seem to remain behind the longest.
The calves may need to do a fair bit of nursing before they are strong enough to make the long, 2,500-mile journey north. Day in and day out we have been witnessing these pairs as the young calf often circles at the surface above the mother humpback whale and then dives down to nurse. The calf feeds on approx 50 – 100 gallons of milk per day and grows rapidly during the first year of its life. Along with the mother humpback and calf pairs is often another adult whale, called an escort whale. For many years, the escort whale was thought to be a female, essentially an auntie charged with helping to care for the youngster, but years of research and underwater gender identification has shown these are actually male whales that sometimes trail the mother and calf around. Out in the deep water as of late, we have had several encounters with the impressive and odd-looking hammerhead sharks. They don’t seem to bother the whales but are often seen in close proximity and are often found in pairs. Closer to shore, the spinner dolphins that remain in Hawaii throughout the entire year have been putting on a quite a show. Huge congregations of them have been seen, usually on the latter part of the tour as we cruise the shallows. Manta rays, sea turtles and a number of other forms of marine life are often seen along the shore. Every day is another unique experience that always seems to surprise even the most experienced of whale watchers. Reservations are required for your adventure. Book it today with Captain Dan’s Whale Watching Adventures at 1-808-322-0028.

March 22, 2012

This week has yielded some epic tours. We have been lucky to witness mating groups of humpback whales that had no hesitation for putting in extremely close appearances right next to our boat. At one point, we were surrounded on every side by a giant goliath. Just sitting in idle, we watched as these mesmerizing creatures splashed around, put up their tails, and circled the boat. Watching the jaw drop on every passenger aboard is always a thrill for the crew. While these close encounters are rare, one never knows when and where they will happen. Equally spectacular have been more appearances of our resident false killer whales and their smaller cousins, the pygmy killer whales. There are more than a dozen varieties of whales that are found in Hawaii throughout the entire year. Every so often, they also pay a visit to the shallow shelf where the humpback whales tend to congregate. These interspecies groupings are always a bonus and fun to watch. Some of these encounters have included a variety of dolphins including spinner, spotted and bottlenose dolphins. These dolphin sightings are always a blast as they are often engaged in some kind of aerial antic, whether its launching their bodies clear of the water or jumping and spinning before splashing back down again.
No one knows why they might engage with the seasonal humpback whales, perhaps this is their idea of fun. Book your whale watch adventure today. Reservations are required. Call Captain Dan’s Whale Watching Adventures at 1-808-322-0028.

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