12th annual contest to predict Hawaii’s first humpback whale sighting of the new season

Though the peak of Hawaii’s exciting humpback whale season runs from January through March, some humpbacks arrive a bit earlier. How much earlier? Well, we want to hear your best guess in our 12th annual contest to predict the first humpback sighting!

This year’s prize in this fun little contest is a paperback book of 125 Fun Facts About Humpbacks by Paul Forestell and Gregory Kaufman. The winner will not only have bragging rights, but also they’ll be able to impress their friends and family with their new humpback whale knowledge.

Here’s how this fun and easy little contest works:

  • Pick the earliest date you think the first whale sighting will be this coming season.  Enter your prediction in the comment section, which is at the bottom of this blog post. (Sorry, but we can’t accept guesses emailed to us or comments on Facebook. If you are reading this article on email, go to this post page to enter your comment.)
    • When entering your comment, you must use a valid email address in the email field so that we can contact you when/if your prediction is correct. Note that your email address will not be visible with the comment.
    • When entering your comment, you can leave the URL/website field empty. That’s an optional field for you to use if you have your own website.
    • Note: if you are a first-time commenter, your comment will first go into moderation. It may up to 12 hours for us to be alerted. Once we’re alerted to it, we will approve it, then it will display.
  • The closest prediction without going over will win bragging rights and the small prize.
  • In the event of a tie, we will randomly select a winner from the tied predictions.
  • We’ll use Hawaii newspapers and news stations as our sources to determine the first whale sighting of this season.
  • One entry per person will be accepted.
  • Anyone from around the world is eligible to enter. We have a two-time winner from Italy.
  • Entries will be accepted through September 15, 2021.  In the event that the first whale sighting is before September 15, valid entries will be accepted through the day before the reported sighting.

For your reference, here’s a list of the first-recorded sightings in recent years.

2006 – October 11
2007 – October 7
2008 – October 8
2009 – October 20
2010 – October 20
2011 — September 26
2012 — August  30
2013 — October 5
2014 — September 16
2015 — September 29
2016 – August 25
2017 — October 10
2018 — October 8
2019 — October 1
2020 — October 8

So, when do you think the first humpback whale sighting will be this year?

    1. October 5th. The date I was supposed to arrive but probably won’t due to COVID and an ankle sprain.

  1. October 6th, no special reason but I’m supposed to leave on the 8th so hopefully before I leave.

  2. October 3rd is the first date that popped into my head when I heard of this contest. I’m sticking with it!

  3. Mahalo for all the contest entries. They’re all locked in. Now, we await the first sighting…

  4. The first whale sighting of the new 2021 season has been recorded! KITV reported on September 30th, but didn’t provide a specific date. https://www.kitv.com/story/44865538/first-humpback-whale-of-the-season-spotted-off-of-maui

    Then, the Pacific Whale Foundation posted some more details that the whale sighting was on September 29th at 11:10am off the coast of Hana, Maui.

    Congrats to Barb and Mary S. for the closest guesses (September 28) without going over!

  5. Whale Watching or actually capturing images of whales is something I have always wanted to do. Maybe this year! I would love to share the photos if I do. 🙂 Have a Blessed day! Cheers!

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