Because our trip to Maui was so short, we felt like we needed to fit in a lot of different activities, and make the most of our time on the island. So fairly far in advance, we had booked a whale watching trip for the morning after our wedding - in hindsight, probably not ideal timing, but what can you do?
From late December through May, humpback whales from Alaska come to Hawaii to mate and give birth to their calves. As a result, whale watching in Maui this time of year is pretty much “guaranteed”. In fact, we saw whales from land every day we were in Maui - of course they are pretty far away, but it’s still pretty awesome.
We book our trip on a small “raft” - a ridged-hulled zodiac that holds only a small number of passengers (18), instead of one of the huge boats that you see going out. It seemed like a better option; smaller, faster and less people. We met in Lahaina at 7:30 and were out on the water in no time. While the viewing was slow for the first hour or so, it picked up pretty fast.
Our first encounter was with a mother and calf, then a pair of mother and calves, and finally we had a female with two male “escorts”, battling for her attention. It was pretty awesome, especially when the first pair went right under our boat, and when the two males were battling it out on the surface.
Sadly, photos don’t really do it much justice, but here are some of the better ones.