Every year, wintertime, Maui plays host to one of the finest natural sights on Earth. The kohola population, which is comprised of thousands of the humpback whales, move from the waters of Alaska and north Pacific towards the warm and shallow water channels that connect Maui, Molokai, Kaho’lawe and Lanai for a trip of hundreds of thousands of kilometers. They participate in the oceanic ritual of birthing their babies and caring for them. These majestic creatures are abundance in January and in March. Some locals call it “whale soup”.
When the beginning of the ‘whale season’ in Maui drew closer in December’s early hours, I found myself bobbing in the gentle waves in the gentle waters of Polo Beach, the site with the Wailea’s Fairmont Kea Lani resort. In awe of the breathtaking sight of whales – called kama’aina , as they’re known locally- reverently regarded by Polynesian culture , and featured in ancient petroglyphs and Hawaiian creation stories, I was reminded of the spiritual connection between humans and nature. The power mythologically associated with the cohola which represents strength, power and unity can truly be felt while watching them socialize, sing and play just out of the water.
While confined for several days in an ocean-facing Kilohana suite, I looked over the horizon with anticipation in search of whales. In just a couple of minutes, I heard a dim misty sound, which was indicative of a whale’s exhale. After a while I saw a fast flying tail that was swooping, and pectoral fins and a gentle swoop breaking the surface. In an effort to control my excitement, I uttered “whale!” I said “whale!” to my fellow swimmers who were all intently watching a large turtle swim through. The event ended by launching a massive breach and arching leap.
Maui’s whale watching season had come to an end with considerable impact. There are numerous ways to view whales. This includes boat tours as well as kayaking excursions, guides on tour of kayaks and terrestrial areas throughout Maui’s southwest and south coasts. Furthermore, there are numerous oceanfront luxury hotels including The Westin Maui Hokupa’a Wing, Sheraton Maui Moana wings, Fairmont Kealani’s Kilohana villas and suites. Their balconies provide the perfect vantage point to take in this breathtaking display by the natural world.
The celebration of the mammalian species; a vacation for Homo sapiens, and a search for Megaptera Novaeangliae (humpback whales). Whale watching in Maui can be a wonderful option to take advantage of this incredible sport. The best way to make your journey memorable by choosing reputed outfitters from the list below. These may range from small inflatable boats , sailing catamarans, guided double sit-on top kayaks as well as large excursion vessels. Other amenities include snorkel stops that have mics that have been dropped into the water. These allow for incredible auditory experiences, that includes whale sounds travelling long distances.
PacWhale EcoAdventures, located in Lahaina and Ma’alaea has a wide range of boat excursions which contribute to Pacific Whale Foundation’s mission to research, education and conservation. The 2-hour tour in the morning from Lahaina Harbor ($) is highly recommendable. The marine naturalists who are certified can give insight into whale behaviour as well as the speeds of their travel under water. Male whales sing only. Young children under the age of 4 cannot be on the boat. The continental breakfast option can be enjoyed to further enhance your trip.
In conclusion, Whale Watching in Maui offers a unique and awe inspiring experience, that should not be missed. Even though it can take time to locate the perfect Outfitter, this trip promises to be an unforgettable trip with stunning animals as well as an unforgettable hearing experience. Additionally, by providing support and appreciation to Humpback Whales Humpback Whale species, you contribute to conservation efforts in the long run.