With the first sighting of a humpback whale off the coast of Maui in early October, whale watchers from around the world are eagerly making plans to view these majestic creatures in their natural winter habitat.
Kohola, as the humpback whale is called in Hawaiian, will be returning in waves to the pristine waters of the main islands after a summer of eating their fill of fish and krill in Alaska. Scientists estimate that more than 10,000 whales migrate to their winter home, where they will mate and give birth to calves through May.
With adult whales ranging in size from 48 to 62 feet, it’s easy to see why the ancient Hawaiians revered the kohola as the manifestation of Kanaloa, their god of the sea. Powerful yet graceful, these whales can be seen propelling up to 40 percent of their bodies our of the water and landing on their sides with a tremendous splash – a behavior called breaching. If you’re lucky, you might also catch a mother whale with her calf close by or males competing for the attentions of a female humpback.
You’ll want to get your video ready for an audio experience that is as awe-inspiring as those sights – the haunting sounds of adult males “singing” complex structures that scientists have likened to classical musical compositions. The males will sing the same song, which is unique to the Hawaiian humpback population, at different times and they will pick up where last year’s song left off … adding to the humpback’s mystique and mysteries that scientists have been trying to unravel for decades.
Inspired to get your eco-adventure on? Operators on Oahu, Maui, Hawaii island and Kauai provide a variety of cruises: You can get up with the sun or sip a cocktail as it sets on a luxury catamaran, swim with dolphins or snorkel with turtles, listen to whale song broadcast by hydrophone, catch the photo of a lifetime on a photo safari tour, groove to the sounds popular local musicians such as Hapa, or make it a family day on a specialty tours for keiki (children).
If you’d prefer to keep your feet dry or keep an eye out 24/7, you can watch from the convenience of a private coastal home, with meals catered by your personal chef. For an ultra-luxe experience, have that chef join you on board a privately chartered yacht cruising through the islands while maintaining a respectful distance. Or, get a bird’s eye view of the migration on a helicopter tour.
Let Luxe Travel Hawai’i craft a whale watching experience of a lifetime by clicking here to email us today.