Maui Winter Whale Season

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The waters off of Maui teem with whales during the winter months. Significant numbers of Humpback whales migrate from the summer feeding grounds in and around Alaska to the warm shallow waters around Hawaii for birth and mating. Watching whales can be as meandering to the shore line. If you keep your eyes peeled, you are likely to see a spout, tail slap or even a breach when the whales are at their prime. However, there are a number of companies that offer will take you off shore for whale watches. I had the opportunity to go on a whale watch with the boat Safari out of Lahaina Harbor earlier this week. Here are some photos from a fun sunset whale excursion.

We were minutes out of Lahaina Harbor when we saw our first pod of whales.

In between Whale sightings, there was plenty of other scenery to keep the eyes occupied. The West Maui mountains loom above Lahaina town.

Whale watching is often a matter of luck. Sometimes the whales are extremely active with dramatic displays of breaching and tail slaps. Other times, they can be relatively subdued. While not particularly active during our cruise, we still saw quite a few whales gliding along the surface.

A few of the humpback whales rolled on to their side seeming to wave at the boat.

Just before we were going to call it a day, we came across the largest, most active pods of whales for the day. Some of whales came within 15-20 yards of the boat.

Seeing a whale’s tail often means that the big mammal is in the process of diving under the surface for an extended period.

As we headed back towards Lahaina Harbor, the sun set dramatically behind the island of Lanai. This was a great end to a beautiful cruise along the West Maui coastline.

Peak whale season will go on for a couple of more weeks. As we enter early April, the majority of the whales will begin to make the long journey back to Alaska. Check out our Facebook photo gallery or Google Plus gallery for more pictures from this sunset whale cruise.

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