This past Maui winter we’ve been lucky to experience North Pacific Humpback Whales on their annual return to their birthing and mating place here in the Hawaiian Islands.
Humpback Whale under the Kai Kanani 2 in Maui
While official whale season runs December 15th-April 15th the first whale of the year was spotted by the crew of Holo Holo Charters about a mile off the west coast of Kauai on September 16th, 2014. Here in Maui, the first reported whale was spotted by Queen’s Treasure off Ka’anapali on October 14th, 2014. The first sighings for previous years were October 4, 2013 by Captain Cary at Kai Kanani Sailing Charters, October 13, 2012, October 2, 2011 and October 20, 2010.
Humpback Whales frolic near Kai Kanani 2 with Molokini Crater in the background.
Some younger Humpback Whales may slowly trickle into the warm Hawaiian waters early. By late January to early March the population is at its peak and so is whale watching season. Juveniles arrive first, then the males, then females, then the pregnant females with an estimated 10,000 whales here throughout the season. When it’s time to head back to their northern feeding grounds the arrival order is reversed and new moms leave first.
Humpback Whale Breach near Kai Kanani II
While here in Hawaii the Humpback Whales are not eating and surviving only off their thick blubber. By the time winter is over and they make the 3,500 mile and 4-8 week journey each way, these whales are hungry. Once they hit their northern feeding grounds of Alaska, Canada & Russia the whales will feast on up to 2,000 pounds of krill and other small schooling fish each day.
Humpback Whale dives near Kai Kanani II
Now whale watching season is over and it’s always bittersweet when the Humpback Whales leave. Can’t wait for next season? Book your whale watch adventure today. Give us a call at Call (808) 879-7218. We’ll be glad to get you started!