Wednesday, after some searching, our mate Matt saw a blow to the east. We headed that way, and then our intern Hannah relocated the blow nearby. Three humpback whales were hanging out together!! The first was easy to ID based on the large scar on her back- Owl!! Sword and Clamp were hanging out with her! These three were taking short dives and slowly moving to the west. Clamp did her signature move- the high fluke tail flick!
|Clamp's high fluke tail flick!
Sword was low-fluking and looked pretty tiny compared to the two large females! For baleen whales, including humpback whales, the males are generally smaller than the females.
|Clamp and Sword
After watching this trio for a bit, we decided to check out another area nearby with no success, so we headed back to the trio. At this point, they had dispersed a bit, with Owl and Clamp still in the immediate area and Sword seen briefly before he took off. The groupings of humpback whales are often ephemeral. We were lucky to see all three side by side for a short time!
|Three humpbacks with their rain-blows!
Oh, and at some point during the trip, we saw Sword and Clamp together, but Owl wasn't with them. We sat still and waited, and then out of the depths, Owl surfaced just feet from the boat and dove right next to us!! She even pooped while doing so!! Oh, Owl, we love you so! Thank you for fertilizing the ocean farm of plankton!
After a bit, we left her to feed in peace and continued on to find another humpback whale, Satula, also surface feeding! He was using bubble clouds to concentrate his prey and also surfacing with his mouth open! Satula isn't known for many behaviors besides pooping, so we were surprised to see him surface feeding! Even our regular whales can surprise us! While Satula was chasing around his lunch, a school of bluefin tuna appeared right off our bow! These large fish are fast, and usually all we see of them is the white water splashes they make.