August 6, 2017

A Playful and Curious Humpback - Spotted Near Moresby Island

[Lauren Fritz, M/V Kittiwake, 08/04/17, 5:30 pm Charter] What an amazing day on the water! We had a charter this evening, and we were lucky enough to encounter an amazing humpback whale who was curious and playful - it swam right under us a few times! Check out my favorite photos from the trip. We...Read more

July 24, 2016

What's Bringing Them Back? Humpbacks in the Salish Sea

What's up, humpbacks! On our whale watch on M/V Seahawk today, we had a chance to encounter these massive baleen whales out in the Rosario Straight - a real treat, considering we don't always get the chance to pass by Orcas and Shaw Island on our tours. These beautiful islands greeted us with views...Read more

June 27, 2016

Those Royal Rorquals

Ever heard of a rorqual? Try saying that word ten times fast! Rorquals are the largest group of baleen whales, and even include the largest known mammal on Earth, the blue whale (those fellas can reach up to 200 tons - WOW). But what exactly is a baleen whale? There's some basic facts that can help...Read more
Humpback whale breaching near San Juan Island, WA

May 2, 2016

5 Humongous Humpback Whale Facts

1. Humpback Whales Are Huge!

The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is the 5th largest of the great whales. An adult humpback whale can grow to 60 feet in length and weigh up to 80,000 pounds. As with most baleen whales, female humpback whales are larger than males. The largest recorded humpback whale was a female estimated to be 89 feet long and nearly 200,000 pounds. 

Also known as the “big-winged New Englander,” humpback whales are most recognized  for their disproportionally large pectoral fins. Measuring up to 15 feet long, the humpback whales’ long pectoral fins can even be used to swim backwards. The pectoral fin length can be as long as 1/3rd of the overall body length. 

Humpback whales are huge even at birth! At birth, a newborn humpback whale weighs 2000 pounds and is 20 feet long, approximately the length of the mother’s head. 

Many humpback whales encountered in the San Juan Islands are adult females with a new calf, or juvenile male or female whales. Recently, the very well-known humpback whale “Big Mama” returned to the Salish Sea with a new calf in tow, making this her 6th known humpback calf.