Hana Hou…Whale Watching in Maui

Hana Hou…Whale Watching in Maui

My Dad had the best idea ever to send me to the University of Hawaii for summer school my junior year of college.   I’ve been in love with the Hawaiian Islands ever since.  Once you visit the islands to experience the beauty of its nature, the pounding of the ocean waves on the white sandy beach shoreline, feel the cool breeze of the tropical winds blowing through the palm trees, meet the people, experience the music and dancing, taste the food, and live in this ideallic perfect weather, you too will fall in love with the Hawaiian islands.

I’ve been coming to Hawaii every year since then, sometimes multiple times.  Like myself, my husband is also an avid scuba diver, and together, we have managed to make ourselves such frequent visitors to this place, our  favorite place on earth, so much that we bought a second home here so we could come and visit whenever we like.

Anytime is a good time to come to Hawaii, but the best time to come is during Whale Season, which is just after Thanksgiving til the end of March.  People often ask where do the whales come from…Japan, Mexico, or Alaska?  The whales all come to Maui because the water is shallow and warm, with no predators, so it is the perfect place for them to birth their babies, and mate for the following season.  Since the babies are all born here, they really are Hawaiian natives who visit those other places because something in their DNA somehow tells them that is where they are to go after they are born.  Mom is going there so I guess they just follow along too.  Like their mothers, they too will return to Maui to birth their babies and get out of the cold in the winter months

Humpback whale with her calf

There are no food sources here in Maui, so during the time that the mother’s give birth to their babies, nurse them, and help them gain strength for the long swim back, the whales lose between thirty and forty percent of their body weight.  Humpback whale milk is fifty percent fat so they babies grow quickly, gaining strength for their long swim ahead when they leave the Hawaiian islands.

When you come to Maui, I hope you will have a chance to go on a whale watch.  We often go with Pacific Whale Foundation, whose mission is to protect the ocean through science, education, research, and conservation.  Each trip is unique and unpredictable, but it will definitely enhance your experience in Maui.  You can find them right across the street from the Banyon Tree on Front Street.

Pacific Whale Foundation Whale Watch

Here is a video I took awhile ago of one of my favorite whale watching trips.  It was at the end of the season where a lone female whale was seeking refuge under our boat from twelve suitors who were chasing her for one last encounter.  The males were like a bunch of linebackers, all pushing and shoving each other to try to get at her.  It takes a lot of energy to compete that way, so they all stay close to the surface to be able to breathe often.  It’s all so unpredictable and exciting…you just never know how it’s going to go!!

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Monie Thompson