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I am a Denver-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

An Hawaii Whale Watching Cruise from Lanai

A humpback whale along the Lanai shoreline

A humpback whale along the Lanai shoreline

I am into nature and seeing whales. I went whale-watching, and I was really looking forward to that, but when you see it on TV and you see other programs do it, you’re seeing close-ups of these massive creatures, and the music that’s added gives you a certain feeling.

~ Karl Pilkington, An Idiot Abroad

 

Whale watching in Hawaii. I could spend the rest of my days watching the whales in Hawaii and not consider a single one of them wasted. Forget about the dramatic close-ups. Never mind the inspiring music. None of it is necessary, when surrounded by the sounds of the wind and ocean. If you’re not sure, that’s like HDTV in person.

The time for a new whale watching season is fast approaching. Humpbacks migrate down from Alaska around late December, tending to stick around the islands for a few months. They can often times be spotted off in the distance from shore, but whale watching cruises in Hawaii are the best way to see them up close. Such an opportunity is definitely one of the best things to do in Hawaii.

While on my Visit Lanai trip, I headed out with Trilogy to find me some whales. I had seen them from my room at the Four Seasons Manele Bay (see below), so I knew they were there. It was just a matter of finding them again, since whales tend to move around. A lot. As a matter of fact, they rarely sit still. Sure, humpback whales sleep, but even then they’re drifting about, since it’s only a sort of half sleep.

Cruising around Sweetheart Rock only to turn back

Cruising around Sweetheart Rock only to turn back

From Lanai’s Hulopoe Bay, we sailed around the Sweetheart Rock to search for whales in between Lanai and Maui. The waters were a little rough, so, with everyone’s safety in mind, the staff decided to turn around for the other side of the island. And what we found there was amazing.

A mother humpback and her calf were accompanied by an escort whale, a sort of protector, a short distance off the Lanai coast. They didn’t breach or play around, but were plenty active. Captivated with the scene, I watched as they surfaced for air and dove again.

A humpback pops up behind us as we cruise in the other direction

A humpback pops up behind us as we cruise in the other direction

Two humpbacks coming up for air

Two humpbacks coming up for air

A humpback begins to dive...

A humpback begins to dive…

...slowly going down...

…slowly going down…

...as its fluke pops out of the water...

…as its fluke pops out of the water…

...and begins to curve to show...

…and begins to curve to show…

...its identifying print...

…its identifying print…

...before going under

…before going under

A humpback lounging along the shoreline

A humpback lounging along the shoreline

Mother and baby spouting

Mother and baby spouting

One last look at Sweetheart Rock as we return to the bay

One last look at Sweetheart Rock as we return to the bay

As I said, sometimes whales can also be seen off in the distance from shore. I spent a couple of afternoons watching them during my stay at the Four Seasons Manele Bay. This is part of what made my stay at the property so very special.

Whale watching from Manele Bay

Whale watching from Manele Bay

A second whale pops up

A second whale pops up

Spoutin' off

Spoutin’ off

A small boat pulls up alongside the whales

A small boat pulls up alongside the whales

Feeling playful and breaching...

Feeling playful and breaching…

...only to make a great big splash

…only to make a great big splash

While whale watching in Hawaii from shore is a special experience, it cannot compete with taking a cruise. The encounters are much more up-close and personal. And, quite simply, no big zoom lens or fancy photo editing is necessary on the backside. It’s just good ol’ fashioned real-life HDTV…minus the dramatic, inspiring music.

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6 Comments on “An Hawaii Whale Watching Cruise from Lanai”

  1. themissadventurejournals November 6, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    How lovely! You are so lucky. Hawaii is on the list. I have just written a blog about swimming with whale sharks in Cancun.

    • Jason's Travels November 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

      Can’t go wrong with Hawaii. It’s all pretty dang amazing.

  2. Traveling Ted (@travelingted) November 7, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    Brilliant picture of whales. I especially love the scene-by-scene shot of the whale tail slowly slipping into the ocean. Never seen a whale, so I hope I get the opportunity soon.

    • Jason's Travels November 22, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

      Thanks! I highly recommend going to Hawaii this winter, if you can swing it, to see the whales. If not there, then give Antarctica a go. You’re sure to see bunches down there. Amazing.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] gone whale watching all over the globe. Antarctica, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii (both Lanai and Molokai); about the only well-known places for whales I haven’t been are southern […]

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