Humpback Whale Spyhop
We often see Humpback Whales performing “Spy Hops”. Spy hopping is when the whale rises in a vertical movement straight up out of the water head first.
Humpback whales spy hop to get a better view of where they are or to look at the people on a whale watching vessel. They really do like to look at us as much as we like to look at them.
A spy hop right in front of your boat is a wonderful experience. It is a special moment that you get to look at a Humpback Whale while it is looking at you.
It is rare to actually see the whales eye looking at you but it has happened a number of times to me.
Humpback whales have very good vision so most spy hops don’t bring the whales eye out of the water but they are looking at you from underneath the water and this is highly obvious if you do a lot of trips to see them.
In clear water the whales body is also visible underneath the water so the whale’s head will slowly rise above the water, sometimes to a great height, it will hold that position and then slowly sink back below the water.
The whale is able to hold it’s position above the water not by swimming but by using it’s natural buoyancy and positioning it’s pectoral fins.
When this happens close to the boat it is very impressive, you are looking at one of the world’s largest creatures while it is looking at you.
You would think that they would often bump the boat but this hardly ever happens.
The Humpback whales are very aware of their surroundings and are very gentle so incidents don’t seem to occur and you feel completely at ease and in awe of the whale in front of you when a spy hop happens.
The amazement and joy on peoples faces is also a sight to behold, people gasping and waving and saying hello.
It is obviously a very special moment for most people and one they were not expecting.