Let’s Go Humpback Whale Watching

I’m always amazed to see a humpback whale breach the water followed by a huge splash. Even surveying the deep blue ocean water for a glimpse of a whale’s spout is exciting. If you’re like me and love whale watching or you’d like to get a better understanding of why whale watching in Hawaii is so interesting, you’ll enjoy this excellent video from GoHawaii.com.

For more information on whalewatching around Maui, see my post on free whalewatching resources and station staffed by the Pacific Whale Foundation. In that post you’ll find a good list of where are the best vantage points to watch whales from the shore.

  1. We’re hoping to see our first breach this trip (next month) and are looking to come back with some decent photos and maybe some video, too.

    Last April was our first encounter with the whales, and even though it was the end of the official whale watching season, we still had a few decent sightings. I can certainly vouch for the excitement you mentioned just from taking a moment to scan the waters looking for activity.

    Can’t think of too many other ways to better spend a lovely afternoon on Maui during February. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Nice! – Great list from the Pacific Whale foundation. I need to find a spotting list for Oahu. It’s been a long time since I went whale watching.

  3. We had a great time whale watching on Kuaui, it’s fun sitting in a zodiac chasing whales and dolphins and turtles. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. @ Kris – You really caught some great photos last year, even though it was the tail end of the season. I hope you have a “whale of a time” ๐Ÿ™‚ on Maui in February.

    @ Dave – I wonder if there is a list of best whalewatching points for Oahu? I know that Makapu’u is supposed to be good and you would think that Diamond Head and Puu o Mahuka Heiau might be good vantage points. If we can’t find a list, let’s make our own. ๐Ÿ™‚

    @ Jim – I can’t put my finger on why it is so exciting to see turtles, dolphins and whales, but it sure is. It’s best and legal if we let them chase us rather than us chasing them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Whoa, Jerry, that live audio is awesome! Is the audio new this year? After you and Bobbie blogged about the webcam last year, I recall watching the live video quite a bit and now I’m wondering if I had the volume down.

    Thanks for reminded us of that great resource that connects us to such a wonder place!

  6. hi Sheila,
    The audio portion is only live 6 months of the year. The other six months, the whales are gone. There are recorded samples for the off months….It is truly a great project. If you watch the video live, you have a really good chance of seeing whales breech or simply spout right there. Boy I love the internet. jerry

  7. @ Jerry – thanks for the additional information on the audio. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for whales, and yeah, these here interwebs are pretty cool. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. @ Mark G – well, you don’t have to take a tour to see whales as you will be able to see them from the shoreline. See this post for suggestions for where to watch from the shore https://www.govisithawaii.com/2007/12/07/free-maui-whalewatching-information/

    One thing you do get from a tour is that most tour vessels have hydra-phones that go into the water to capture the whale songs. Another advantage of a whale watching tour is that you will usually get a guarantee that if you don’t see whales you can come back on another tour. You’ll be there in February in the prime of the season, so you won’t need to worry about not seeing a whale.

    If you plan to go on any snorkeling tours to Molokini or a sunset sail, you’ll have an excellent chance of seeing whales then. That’s a trick I’ve used to save money. The captain must watch for whales anyway to avoid hitting them. If they see them they will usually stop so you can watch them.

    Two tour operators that I think very highly of are:
    – Pacific Whale Foundation – pacificwhale.org
    – Trilogy – sailtrilogy.com

    In my opinion, it’s best to schedule tours in the mornings while the water is calmer.

    Please come back and tell us about your whale watching experience when you return.

  9. We’ll be in Oahu March 6-11, what are chances of seeing whales from there at that time. Also, is any hotel or part of the beach better for swimming…and finally are the jellyfish predicted for this area at this time? Thanks all, for your anticipated answers. J

  10. Hi Jamie – I recently returned from a week long stay on Oahu and did patiently try to see whales from above Diamond Head Beach Park and at Makapuu Point. Unfortunately we didn’t see any. It seems that Oahu isn’t as blessed with the abundance of whales like Maui and the Big Island are. Your best bet would be to take a whale watching boat tour. Try to choose one that gives you a guarantee that if you don’t see them, they’ll take you on another trip.

    According to the jellyfish calendar, you should be safe from them while you are there: http://www.808jellyfish.com/808jELLYFISH2009/2009%20CALENDARS/Marcharrivalcalendar2009.htm

    For swimming, only go in the water on life guarded beaches and ask the guards for advice. Consult the Ocean Safety website: http://oceansafety.soest.hawaii.edu/index.asp for up to date conditions.

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