Contest Alert: Predict the 2011 Hawaii Humpback Whale Arrival

humpback whale tail (fluke)

It’s about that time of year for humpback whales to begin trickling in to Hawaii’s protected waters. Officially, whale season doesn’t begin until mid-December, but seems that there’s always some whales that just can’t wait to get back to Hawaii. Can you relate?

September 16th is the earliest recorded humpback arrival to Hawaii. Normally, the first sighting is in October. The following list shows the first sightings in recent years:

  • 2006 – October 11
  • 2007 – October 7
  • 2008 – October 8
  • 2009 – October 20
  • 2010 – October 20

We must continue our annual tradition of guessing the first humpback arrival in Hawaii with a contest! This year’s prize is a copy of Discovering Humpback Whales of Hawaii – 125 Fun Facts About Humpbacks.


Here’s how the 2011 contest will work:

  • Pick the earliest date you think the first whale sighting will be this year.  Enter your prediction in the comments for this blog post. (Sorry facebook friends, but this time only blog comments will be eligible. It’s easier for me to keep track of all the guesses in one spot here on the blog.)
  • The closest prediction without going over will win a prize.
  • You must use a valid email address so that I can contact you when/if your prediction is correct. Note that your email address will not be visible on the comment.
  • 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.
  • One entry per person will be accepted.
  • Anyone from around the world is eligible to enter. One year our winner was from Milano, Italy.
  • Entries will be accepted through October 1, 2011.  In the event that the first whale sighting is before October 1, 2011, valid entries will accepted through the day before the reported sighting.

When do you predict Hawaii will have this year’s first sighting?  Enter your prediction in the comments!

  1. Karl Moss says:

    October 30th at 2:10pm


    September 28th (my son’s birthday)

    1. Larry Lee says:

      Happy Birthday to your son, and it looks like the 1st whale was sighted today at the Big Islnd, hope you won….

  3. Hi Sheila,
    My sources tell me that the humpback whales will join us on Oct 22, 2011 at 8:33 am. Ok you guys- don’t let me down! 🙂 jerry

    1. Hi Jerry — you must have good sources. You were only off by minutes last year. 🙂

  4. Oct. 21. I had this in my head before I looked at the other answers. Sorry for any ties!

  5. Not really sure when they will be here, October 3? But we do know that we’re a little early for them as we are here right now for 6 weeks so maybe, just maybe, if they arrive in the first week of October, we may just see them! 🙂

    Nancy & Shawn

  6. I’m going with October 20th–betting on the rare three-peat! (Of course, my entry does not officially count)

  7. natalie brown says:

    I predict they will make their return Oct 9th.

  8. Dianne Ward says:

    I predict they will show up on my birthday, October 15th.

  9. I’m going for October 1st!!

  10. I am going with my granddaughter’s birthday, Oct.. 12

  11. September 27th at 2:34pm

  12. Joanne McCrery says:

    I’ll go for Oct 13, 1:30 PM That’s about when my first niece made her apperance.

  13. I predict the first whale will arrive on the 23rd, but not be seen until the 24th. My official answer for this game is the 24th at 10:33am! (Sorry, Jerry!) 🙂

  14. I want to pick my birthday October 15th, but it’s already taken, so my official date is October 6th

  15. Breaking News: First whale sighting of the season has been reported in Hawaii. Here’s the StarAdvertiser article that was just posted:

    Per the article, the humpbacks were spotted off Hawaii Island on Monday. Monday was September 26th. So, that makes Robin A Kelley our winner with a guess of September 19. Congrats to Robin! I’ll be in touch to get your address to mail you the book.

    1. Neat-O!!! Thank you Sheila!! Can’t wait to get your email so I can send you address for Fun Facts Book. Cool!

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