To truly appreciate these massive creatures, you must venture into their environment. Whale-watching cruises offer the best opportunity to get close to whales. From land on Kaua'i, try the Kilauea Lighthouse, Kealia Lookout, and other elevated coastal areas. Scan the horizon for the whales' characteristic blows and extra-large splashes (calm windless days make whale spotting much easier).
Humpback whales are generally curious about objects in their environment; they will often approach and interact with boats. It's not uncommon for whales to come up alongside the boat, or even swim beneath it. Captains nicknamed these events "whale muggings" because legally they cannot move the boat until the whale has departed! From this close you can hear the blow (an exhalation at 300 mph) and the loud slaps of tails, flukes, and breaches.
It takes both a quality boat and an experienced, knowledgeable captain to deliver an exceptional whale-watch experience. Catamarans tend to be stable and can be designed so that everyone onboard enjoys a good view of the whales. Rigid hull rafts are smaller vessels that offer an intimate experience and a more exciting ride.
Hawaii's "100 yard minimum rule" states that people (whether on a boat, kayak, swimming or by any other means) may not approach within 100 yards of a Humpback whale. Being wild animals, whales can approach us as they wish. Experienced captains know not to force a whale encounter but rather to slowly approach in a non-threatening manner and invite the whales in.
Breaching is seen in many species of cetaceans and researchers are not sure of the reasoning behind this behavior. Scientists speculate that these aerial acrobatics could be a display of aggression, a means of dislodging barnacles, or perhaps for pure fun. Regardless of the "why" behind breaching, when you witness a 45-foot whale airborne it is sure to leave you in awe.
Our goal is to educate people about Humpback whales and their preservation as well as to invite web visitors on one of our whale watch adventures. We know that if you experience Humpbacks as we have, you'll share our passion for preservation of the species and our oceans as a whole. So come aboard! Nobody has more fun!