We saw humpbacks...the ones that blow bubbles under the herring to make them rise to the surface in a tiny group and then the whales can have dinner! They also sing lovely haunting songs...which as I am sure you have read is probably the basis of the mythology behind sex-starved sailors and mermaid songs. Quick stats so that you can appreciate my poor photos where I decided not to bring a telephoto on the boat...big regret, although there was really no safe place to store my camera bag once we went snorkeling, safe from the elements was my concern not theft. They can be up to 50 feet in length, weigh 50 tons, filter small plankton along with small fishes such as herring, they are usually near the ocean surface and thus the easiest to photograph.
Before you scroll below, let me tell you of an adventure my husband had while SCUBA diving doing graduate work in Hawaii. He was counting organism settlement on the underside of large concrete pipes that had been placed as a substrate for an artificial reef in about 40-50 feet of water. While down there he heard the most awful sound...like a giant barn door squeaking open and closed...and the reverberation within the pipe made it more terrifying in sound. He stopped his counting, stopped his breathing in the regulator, and peaked out the mouth of the large pipe. There just a few yards away was a whale just singing along as if hubby was no where near. I think my wet suit would have needed careful cleaning if that had happened to me.
Photos below are not good (I know I say that and you get upset...but REALLY they are not great) but pretend you are sitting on the bow deck and taking photos. Photo number four with the city in the background is of a mom and her calf and the mist of a spray.