04-12-2012: Surface Feeding Humpbacks, Incredible Upclose and Personal Encounter

This was one of about six humpbacks that were feeding all around the boat. This animal went under the boat and popped up on the other side. This photo gives you an idea of what it's like to look down the blow holes of a humpback whale. It's pretty neat to see these 45'+ animals cruising so close to us. Something everyone should experience at least once in their lives. Photo: Sack, 04-12-2012

Wow! What an amazing day out there today with these feeding humpbacks. I would have to say that this was right up there as an all-time humpback encounter! We had at least six humpbacks feeding all around the boat. We saw many different types of behavior today. We saw some decent lunge feeds, pectoral fin slaps, tail lobbing and a lot of tail flukes. The krill they were feeding on was quite shallow. So their tail flukes were sometimes sideways. Like they were just kind of lunging sideways as they dove. We also had a friendly come up under the bow of the boat, then turn over upside down and just kind of sat there for about 10 seconds. It was very cool.

Humpback whale tail lob

One of the humpbacks we were with just suddenly throws up this massive tail lob. I love when they do that. Photo: Sack, 04-12-2012

We also had a scattered pod of about 50-60 Pacific white-sided dolphins that were in there feeding right alongside the humpbacks. That was quite a site to see. What we think was going on was that the humpbacks were feeding on krill and anchovies while the Pacific white-sided dolphins were feeding on anchovies that were feeding on the krill. The ecosystem was happening out there today.

We also had quite a number of downwind whale spouts come our way. And let me tell you, it’s very clear when your in the midst of a whale spout. The odor is quite foul. But it’s still a pretty cool thing to experience.

This is a sideways / upside-down lunge feed one of humpbacks did repeatedly next to the boat. Notice the white rings. Those marks are from where barnacles used to live. Some marine biologists believe one of the reasons these large animals breach is to loosen up or break off barnacles. This animal obviously did something to get those barnacles off it's chin. Photo: Sack 04-12-2012.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *