Contest: Predict the 2008 Humpback Whale Arrival to Hawaii

Whale Blow Hole in Maui's Warm Water

The 2008/2009 humpback whale season is fast approaching.  The official season goes from around mid-December through about mid-April.  Some whales must not have calendars because they have been known to be in Hawaii as early as September 16th.  Who can blame them for being anxious to get to their Hawaii vacation?

Almost any day now, I’m expecting to hear news that the first humpback whale has been seen frolicking in ocean around Hawaii. The first reported whale sighting last year was October 7th and in 2006 it was October 11th. 

I thought it would be fun to have a little contest for you to predict the first reported whale sighting.  Here’s how the contest will work:

  • Pick the earliest date you think the first whale sighting will be this fall.  Enter your prediction in the comments for this blog post.
  • The closest prediction without going over will win a prize.
  • In the event of a tie, I will randomly select a winner from the tied predictions.
  • We’ll use Hawaii newspapers and news stations as our source to determine when the first whale has been seen this season. 
  • Entries will be accepted through October 3, 2008.  In the event that the first whale sighting is before October 3, 2008, valid entries will accepted through the day before the reported sighting. 


The Hawaii themed prize (shown above) includes:

  • A package of 10 vintage art postcards.  (They are gorgeous!)
  • A hula workout DVD that was filmed on the beautiful beaches of Maui.
  • Two hand painted magnets.

So, let’s hear it – when do you think the first humpback whale will be seen in Hawaii this fall?

  1. Best website, love it! Check it all the time. Great prize, I hope I win! My date pick is Oct. 6 for first Humpback sighting.

  2. I’ll guess October 5 as the first sighting.
    There is a very scientific formula I have used…the hula halau with which I dance waaaayyy up here in Vancouver (on the Pacific Ocean) will be putting on our BIG 35th anniversary show that day. Our musical aloha will telegraph through the ocean to the humpback whales and inspire them to get a glimpse of those Hawaiian shores…..:)

  3. Good luck everyone!

    @ Janet – thanks for the compliment! πŸ™‚

    @ Matthew – welcome back! Very nice to see you! πŸ™‚

    @ Michelle – I like that lucky birthday guess! When you visit in April, there’s a good chance you’ll see whales. It’s really addictive and mesmerizing to whale watch!

    @ Jayne – thanks for entering the contest!

    @ Christine – As a former engineer, I have great respect for your scientific formula! πŸ˜‰

  4. My birthday is Oct 12th but I will guess November 1st. My next trip will definitely be when the whales are there! πŸ™‚

    So tell me, will that DVD make my body look like that?????????? πŸ˜‰

  5. I’ll be the pessimist and say they won’t show up until Oct. 21st. If you need an independent judge, I’m sure there are more than a few folks here that will be willing to go out and confirm any initial sightings. πŸ™‚

    @ Michelle – We spent my birthday on Maui this year (April 16th) and we still saw our fair share of whales. It was our first time seeing them, and as Sheila mentioned, it is a truly mesmerizing and captivating experience.

  6. I’m going to guess October 7th.

    The whales are one of the things I miss most about living on Maui. The sightings, but most especially when diving, we would here them singing.

  7. Wow…lots of great guesses!

    @ Angie – cool another birthday guess! Excellent!

    @ Lissete – if you win, you will have to let me know if it makes your body look like that. I will buy a copy for myself ASAP. πŸ™‚

    @ Kris – ooooh a later pick….nice strategy!

    @ Cindi – nice guess based on the last two years!

    @ Wave Shoppe – Aloha! Nice to see you again!

    @ Susan – how cool that you’ve heard the whale songs while diving!

    @ pmaile – the earlier strategy….you’re probably on to something.

    @ andy – the earliest guess so far. Interesting!

    I really appreciate the predictions! Good luck, everyone!

  8. October 13th is my guess.

    PS – I’ll send you a link to my Hawaii photos when I finish going through them. Our trip was great, thanks for all the great advice πŸ˜‰

  9. @ Natalie – Have you been able to get some good photos of the whales?

    @ Kara – Welcome! So nice to see one of the famous Traveling Mamas here! πŸ™‚

    @ Scott – I’d love to see your photos! I’m so glad that you enjoyed your honeymoon in Hawaii!

  10. I’m going to go with Sunday, October 19th. Then they can come swim as we Race for the Cure! Susan Komen Run is on the 19th so it sounded like as good a guess as any. πŸ™‚

  11. @ Evelyn – oh that would be cool to get to see whales while racing for the cure! Are you running?

    @ candy – that’s a very precise prediction. I like it!

  12. (Man, I was off my 2 days – I said the 6th)

    Humpback whales arrive in Hawai’i waters
    Posted at 3:12 p.m., Thursday, October 9, 2008

    Advertiser Staff

    LAHAINA, Maui β€” The first humpback whales of the season are arriving in Hawaiian waters.

    A lone whale was spotted yesterday (10/8) about 3 miles off Lahaina, and there were reports of whale sightings earlier in the week off the Big Island.

    Capt. Alan Steed said he was operating the Expeditions ferry from Manele Harbor on Lana’i to Lahaina around 2:30 p.m. when he saw a whale about a half-mile from the vessel. The marine mammal surfaced and spouted and then displayed its fluke as it submerged.

    About an hour later as Steed’s vessel was heading to Lana’i, he saw a whale in the same area.

    An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 humpback whales migrate to Hawai’i during the fall and winter months to breed, calve and socialize.

  13. WOW !!!!!!!!! WOW !!!!!!!!! WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!
    I’m Laura, Marco’ wife ; I’ve just written a comment yesterday:I’M ADDICTED TO HAWAII !!! Our vacation in Oahu and Big Island this August has been a DREAM COME TRUE !!! and we keep dreaming of HAWAII each day !
    Those islands make for a vacation of a life time … but the last one was … OUR FOURTH TRIP to Paradise !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    and what do we find this morning in the mail ?? That Marco won the WHALES CONTEST !!!!!!!!!! Oh, that was such a surprise !!! LIKE A SMALL PIECE OF PARADISE COMING TO SAY ALOHA to Italy !!!
    We live in Milano and today it’s a foggy cold morning – as we use to have here in October … but HAWAII SUN IS SHINING for us !!

    THANK YOU SO MUCH !!! what a wonderful prize and what a nice way to start our day !!

    MAHALO !! laura & Marco Dinaro

    PS Wave to each whale you can see … FOR US !!!

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