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Hawaii is for Whale Watching
by Sharon Harrison

Whale breaching in HawaiiIf you love to watch wildlife in its natural surroundings, youíll be glad you have a rental car. Whether youíre driving a sedan, van, Jeep or convertible, you have the option of driving out to the many island beaches or parking along cliffs to enjoy whale watching on your own time schedule. With a rental car you are free to go when you want, and to stay out as long as you wish. A pair of binoculars and a camera with telephoto lens make your whale watching experience even more rewarding.

Humpbacks are most popular of the more than half dozen Baleen whales that migrate to our islands. The best months to spot Humpbacks are December to April, although they may be spotted as early as October and into May. Humpbacks migrate annually from Alaska to breed and give birth in the warm, shallow waters of Hawaii. Youíll know youíre looking at a Humpback when you see a large, stocky body with a big hump on its black back.

About Humpback Whales

  • Adults weigh 45 tons
  • Humpbacks are 39 to 52 feet in length
  • Humpbacks, a Baleen whale, do not have teeth
  • Their huge tail is called a fluke
  • Humpbacks typically breach, tail-slap and blow air from their spouts
  • Humpbacks swim the 3000 miles from Alaska to Hawaii in about 36 days
  • These whales feed on plankton, small fish and krill in summer
  • When in Hawaii during winter, the whales donít feed at all, but live on fat reserves
  • Humpbacks (and several other cetacean species) have brains with a type of neuron cell thatís found in human brains
  • Humpbacks communicate by singing to one another
  • Mothers and calves appear to show affection to one another
  • Calves keep growing until they are 10 yrs. old
  • Humpbacks remain endangered and protected; there is no legal commercial harvest

DolphinWatching whales and dolphins in the Hawaiian Islands is a year-round activity. Boat tours are wonderful, and we recommend them. Be sure to choose a company known to observe legal protocol of remaining 100 yards from whales and always approaching them from behind, not head-on.

And, for the many island visitors who wish to spend their travel money elsewhere or donít want to experience rolling seas beneath them for 2 to 4 hours, take advantage of a rental car to get to the best island whale watching spots. Your concierge can suggest whale watching locations to enjoy from the comfort of your rental vehicle.

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