First Humpbacks of the Season

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Maui’s most famous winter visitors made their first appearance around the islands this week. The Honolulu Advertiser reported the first humpback sightings of the season in the waters off of West Maui. These early arrivals are among the first humpbacks to complete their migration from their summer feeding grounds off the coast of Alaska. The number of whales in coastal waters will slowly grow over the next couple of months until we hit peak whale season in late December or early January. At peak season, it is hard not to look off the coast of Maui for any extended period of time without seeing one of these gentle giants swimming or splashing along the surface. The channels between Maui and its neighboring islands are a veritable super highway for whales. The whales stick around in good numbers until they start migrating back to Alaska in early April.

While I had seen some updates on Twitter that suggested earlier sightings within the last week, these are the first whales spotted to make the traditional news. Regardless of when they were first spotted, it is exciting to know these gentle giants are back gracing our waters. Here’s to a bountiful whale season with lots of sightings for residents and visitors and safe passage for our big mammalian friends.

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