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Calf Calls


Dai Mar Tamarack, Expedition Leader, Safari Explorer

We’ve already seen quite a few humpback whales from the Safari Explorer this season.

Humpback Whale in Hawaii

Around this time last year, I remembered writing a blog post about seeing our first baby humpback calf of the season so I was on the lookout as we cruised through the Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary waters off of Maui.

Humpback Whale and Calf

As we I scanned the waters, one of the passengers shouted out, “Thar she blows. 11 o’clock!” and sure enough, a whale exhalation hung above the water like a little cloud for a few second before dissipating. Everyone looked on in anticipation to see what the whale would do next.

Then it happened.

Another puff cloud, but this time I noticed a second smaller exhalation. I radioed up to the bridge to see if my other guide had noticed. She did. We both waited and watched until we saw the same thing again, and then we made the call over the ships loudspeakers, we had our first baby whale of the season!

Humpback Whale and Calf in Hawaii

These humpbacks are here in Hawaiian waters for two reason, having babies and making babies. It’s always amazing to see a brand new addition to this species. The size difference is considerable between mother and calf, so to put it in perspective, I remind the guests that this calf is about the size of a small pickup truck.

We continued to watch as the calf playfully laid itself across its mother’s head and let her carry him around for a bit before sliding off again. It goes to show just how massive mom really is.

Calf and Mother Humpback Whale

Here’s to hoping we see many more playful mother and calf humpback whales this season!

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