Whale Watching in Hawaii

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Every year from December to May, thousands of humpback whales spend nearly two months making the 3,000-mile journey from Alaska to make Hawaii their winter home. Just as tourists from around the globe escape winter and vacation in Hawaii, so too do the humpback whales. Called Kohola in Hawaiian, these respected and admired whales are thought by some to be representations of the god Kanaloa, who watches over animals and the ocean. Weighing up to 45 tons and measuring 40-50 feet in length, the humpbacks come to Hawaii to mate, breed, calve, and nurse in the warm Pacific waters. In fact, Humpback calves born near the islands and are considered kama'aina or “native born” by some.

Wondering what the best spots are to whale watch in Hawaii and how you should go about seeing the kohola breach? Well, you're in luck because there are many options. While the Auau Channel between Maui, Molokai and Lanai is considered by some to be one of the best places in the world to see Humpbacks due to its clear waters, my advice would be to keep your eyes open and have a pair of binoculars on you any time you are in Hawaii during whale season. You can honestly spot whales almost anywhere in Hawaiian waters during this 6-month period. I saw some recently off the Kohala Coast of the Big Island and two more were spotted in Honolulu Harbor just a few weeks ago. Equally exciting is that although the Humpback Whales is still considered an endangered species, efforts to protect the Kohola have resulted in a doubling of their population over the last 10 years. This is definitely the best time to watch whales in Hawaii!

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