Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Humpback Males Pursue Female

Hi All,
We had quite a day between dolphins, sharks, and whales.  I will get to the dolphins and sharks at a later date.
I'm not sure why anyone would go to Gran Turk or Salt Cay to see whales when there are so many coming through right here! We saw seven today and heard many other reports of other sightings as well. Our most exciting group had one female and two to three males chasing after her. I am speculating on this but it sure looked like males competing for a female. At all times there were either two or three whales chasing after one slightly smaller whale that kept breaching, tail slapping or pec waving. The fourth whale would show up from another direction and join in the chase. He would then leave for a while and return or perhaps it was another whale but I would guess it was the same one. At times they were making large circles following close behind each other. At other times they were bumping into each other (more like crashing) . They acted like a pod of Rowdies (name given to males who travel in pods fighting for breeding rights). There was however the one smaller whale that they were clearly chasing. I have no idea how she had the energy to keep breaching and tail slapping. We were with them for over four hours and they were still chasing her when we had to return to the marina before the sun went down. Apparently no one has ever actually seen Humpbacks mate I wonder if we had stayed to the end if we could have witnessed it.

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