Baby Humpback Whales in Cabo

It has been a wonderful start to the 2013 Cabo whale watching season, and today we were delighted to spot the first baby Humpback whale of the season! Normally  we post updates to the Whale Watch Cabo Blog about every two weeks, but the last few days have warranted a special announcement!

January 5, 2013 our staff of Santos, Peter and Alexandra spotted one lively new born whale as it passed by Lands End and the bay of Cabo San Lucas. While it is a bit earlier in the year for Humpback babies, it is not unheard of. The whole season has been a bit ahead of schedule if you ask us, but the whales don’t ask us ;-)

The first baby Humpback announced its presence with a series of breaches and tail slapping – a bit unusual for so young a whale, but very warmly received by our lucky guests. We were able to enjoy the encounter by ourselves for 15 minutes of so until some other boats arrived, and the baby seemed to have run out of excess energy and settled in for some relaxation in the secure comfort of its mother.

Worth mentioning is the last few days of encounters with inquisitive sub adults as well. Out of the ordinary is the only way to explain the inquisitive way over the past few days sub adult Humpback whales have been approaching our boats, spy hopping, rolling at the surface, even seen through the glass bottom ports as they passed beneath the boats!

Finally, we have seen numerous mating competitions over the past few days as well. Males compete for a females attention with high speed maneuvers in the females wake, often rubbing, running into each other, tail lobbing and more. It is dramatic to watch from the surface, even more dramatic if you could see the nature of the males competition underwater!

One final note for this post, about the best time of day to book a whale watching tour. There really isn’t a better time to see whale activity. I wish I could say there was. We are just as likely to see breaching whales on the morning tour, as we are later in the day. The only trip differences we can point out are:

  • 8:30 am departure – Cool temperatures warm up by the 11am return. Typically the calmest seas of the day, fewer other boats around.
  • 11:30 am departure – Day has warmed up, most other boats around, if it is a windy day, the surface chop is picking up.
  • 2:30 pm departure – Day will go from warm to cooler, fewer other boats around again, if it has been a windy day, may be some more surface chop, light can be good for photography.

However, what we do know about the whales and their activity level is that this dynamic seems to rise and fall over a few days at a time. Meaning, we often see dramatic action for a few days, followed by a few days of more relaxed whales. We believe this is a result of several factors including; new whales arriving in the area, changing currents bringing in other marine species, the moon phase and wind.

So when asked when is the best time to book a whale watching tour we recommend booking what time suits you the best. If you hope to see some dramatic whale action, the best chance would be to book at least 2 whale watching tours, a few days apart. This doubles your chance of seeing active whales and by spacing your tours a few days apart, betters your chance of going out during the changed dynamic of Happy Humpbacks!

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