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View From Here - Hawaii Travel Blog - Whalewatching

Total Number of Entries - 27
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  • Summer Whalewatching in Hawaii: Part Two

    Destination: Kauai

    Underwater photograph of two Hawaiian spinner dolphins by Bo PardauAfter a fuel pump or something went out that led to the cancellation of the inaugural day of research, I was invited back on Saturday. It was to be the 600th day on the water over 12 years in Hawaii for Cascadia Research. In the intervening 10 days, the team had spotted, gathered tissue samples and photo-identified numerous individuals from several groups of rough-toothed dolphins. They’d also encountered their largest group of bottlenose dolphins in Hawaii—200 individuals. The highlight of the trip thus far, though, had to be spending about an hour mingling with four killer whales.

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  • Summer Whalewatching in Hawaii

    Destination: Kauai

    On my volunteer days at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge during the summer, I am often asked, “When do the whales come back?” What people really mean is, “When are the humpback whales in Hawaiian waters?” And the answer to that question is November through April. But there are more than just humpback whales in Hawaii.

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  • A Humpback Whale Visit on Endangered Species Day

    Destination: Kauai

    humpback whale calf breaching at Kilauea Point National Wildlife RefugeAt exactly 3:53 p.m. at Kauai's Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on Friday, May 20, I heard a woman's voice exclaim, "There's a spinner dolphin." I remember thinking that I hadn't see any earlier in the sandy-bottomed waters off Kauapea Beach. Maybe, I thought--it's really amazing how fast thoughts can whiz through your mind--maybe it's a pod coming from the bay around the point--Kalihiwai--and headed out to sea for a night of foraging. I've seen them rest there during the day before, too.

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  • Welcome to Maui. Welcome to Whale Soup.

    Destination: Maui

    Hawaiian humpback whale breaching off Maui We boarded a Trilogy's Elua catamaran on the sandy shores of Kaanapali, Maui at 4:00 on a hot February afternoon, as a Kona system from the south evaporated Hawaii's cooling trade winds and vog from Hawaii (Big) Island's Kilauea volcano settled on the islands of Lanai and Molokai to our west.  February is known for pretty much one thing in Maui: Whales. Just three days before a whole day was dedicated to the celebration of whales in Kihei, complete with a Parade of Whales, Run for the Whales, Hawaiian music concert, “Made on Maui” market, food--lots and lots of food—and more.

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  • Preparation Meets Opportunity in Hawaii

    Destination: Oahu, Kauai

    Yesterday, I walked from one side of Waikiki to the other, from Outrigger Reef on the Beach and nearly to the Honolulu Zoo. I walked out of the sunshine and into a fluorescent room to sit on a straight-backed chair for eight hours. I listened to real scientists toss around phrases like foraging ecology, protozoal threats, cestode egg presence, Allee effects and genetic stock structure. All in an effort to suss out the best way to reverse the downward population trend of endangered Hawaiian monk seals.

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  • Q and A with Whale Researcher Jim Darling

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    A few weeks ago, I managed to fire off a few emails to Jim Darling in the height of the research season. For the past 30-some years, Jim has spent his winters in Hawaii—off the shores of west Maui, in particular—studying humpback whales. Jim’s primary field of research is whale song. Through Jim’s research, as I shared last week, we know that only the male whales sing and they do their primary singing in and around the breeding season. While Jim has studied gray whales off Vancouver and humpback whales throughout the North Pacific, he returns to Maui annually to focus on humpback singers and their song.

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  • Counting Hawaii's Humpback Whales

    Destination: Kauai, Maui

    In Hawaii, we take our endangered humpback whales seriously. February is known as Humpback Whale Awareness Month and the last Saturdays of January, February and March are officially known as Whale Count Days for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Hundreds of volunteers across the state brave potentially strong trade winds, pelting rain and searing sun to count humpback whales and record their behavior for four hours, starting at 8:00 a.m. We cancel in case of a tsunami, however, as was the case on Saturday, February 27, 2010, but we dutifully re-schedule, which is how I ended up on Crater Hill this past Saturday.

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  • The Best-Kept Hawaiian Vacation Secret Around

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    Early November is not known for being a busy time in Hawai'i. It's like the pause between the in-breath and out-breath. That time right before the holidays when craft fairs, parties and concerts vie for spots on my calendar and when vacationers enjoy some time off from their hectic lives. And yet, for me, early November is one of the most exciting times in Hawai'i and that just might be the best-kept Hawaiian vacation secret around.

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  • Whales Return to Hawaii

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    Hawaiian humpback whale breaching off MauiOn October 21, 2009, the first official whale sighting was reported off West Maui. (Those 45-foot, 45-ton behemoths sure like Maui.) So, I thought I'd share this footage of a whale filmed by NOAA. It's beautiful, especially because the slack key composition you hear playing was inspired by this footage.

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  • Whale-Watching in Maui #2

    Destination: Maui

    At 7:30 this morning, the sun glinted off the ocean like it was a field of diamonds.  Three minutes outside the Lahaina Harbor, Captain Karl of Maui Adventure Cruises nosed the boat northwest.  He had already spotted our first humpback whales of the morning.  Thar she blows.

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