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Whale Season in Maui?

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Nov 14th, 2012, 08:57 AM
  #1
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Whale Season in Maui?

We're returning to Maui for the 6th time to spend a big family Christmas with four other families and looking so forward to it. We will be there until mid January and since this is the earliest we've ever gone, were wondering whether the whales will be there by then? We're usually visiting there in Feb/March and two years ago, it was unbelievable....were sitting at Fred's having breakfast and we saw a whale very close to the swimming area right across the road, awesome!!
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Nov 14th, 2012, 09:59 AM
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January good whale season.

Season usually from November to early April.
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Nov 14th, 2012, 10:07 AM
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Whale season officially starts on December 15 and runs through May 15. However, these rules apply to people and not the whales. Some whales (mainly juveniles)have already travelled to Maui this year. The smaller companies start their whale watching trips on December 15 and stop when whales are scarce. The biggest company, Pacific Whale Foundation, offers trips in late November.

You will be able to see humpbacks in the waters around Maui at Christmas time and in January. Since humpbacks are serial migrators, the numbers will increase steadily throughout late December until peak season in mid February to March. Serial migration means that humpbacks arrive and depart the breeding and birthing grounds at different times.

Early in the whale season, you will see more juvenile whales who are too young to mate. They hang out in little groups and cause trouble - just like normal teenagers. They are unpredictable in their behavior and really fun to observe.
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Nov 14th, 2012, 11:43 AM
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Make sure to go snorkeling during whale season.
With your ears under the water you can hear them.
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Nov 14th, 2012, 12:07 PM
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I began to think the whales had decided to 'winter' elsewhere in early January 2012! By mid-month, though, I saw a lot of activity. I use my binoculars to see out over Maalaea Bay from our condo in South Kihei. Afternoons seem to be the time the bulls come a-courting, putting on displays for the cows in the 'nursery' (the bay) with their calves. It's precious to see the mama spout a big spray, then to see a little spout from Junior.

Best way to view the whales is from a kayak along the shore in early morning. Calves are so curious that they will come quite close -- even dive under your craft -- before Mama calls them back.

Best viewing is usually January - March.
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Nov 14th, 2012, 08:18 PM
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We will be there April 1-8. Is there a good chance that we will be able to see quite a few whales?
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Nov 15th, 2012, 07:52 AM
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Laurie:

The humpbacks should still be in Maui in early April. It is often a great time for observations. At that time of year, mothers are finalizing training of their calves for the long journey ahead. Calves are active and like to show off their new skills like breaching, tail slapping, and head lunging. The single females who are looking for mating opportunities are very popular with the males who are there with a similar agenda. Be on the lookout for competition pods where males are chasing a female (she is always in control). Since females are outnumbered by males by that time of year, she will be very popular and may have as many as 10, 15, or more male whales in pursuit. Competition pods are amazing to watch as the males fight each other and try to impress the female. Do not worry, humpbacks are very intelligent and know to stop before much physical damage is done.
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Nov 15th, 2012, 09:04 PM
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Dorothy01,

Thank you very much for your very informative reply! We have rented a condo on the 4th floor that has a balcony overlooking Ma'alaea Bay so I hope to have a great view of all the whale activities. Thanks again for the info! Laurie
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Nov 16th, 2012, 03:11 AM
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Loved the whole whale discussion - and their behavior and hope you get to see a lot of them.

Just saw a TV show last night about the huge Blue Whales - and those 100 foot behemoths carry a calf for a year - which grows to 18 feet in the womb. How would you like to drop that "baby"?

We see a few Blues - in the distance - from time to time while fishing off San Diego - but my wife was fortunate to travel 2/3's of the way down Baja with the Natural History Museum of SD - to see the winter calving at St. Ignacio (on the Pacific side) - mainly Gray whales, which can get up to 40 to 50 feet long - about the same size as Humpbacks: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/whales/2/1 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_whale and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humpback_whale and

http://www.bajainsider.com/baja-cali...gtoursbaja.htm

They camped by the beach for four or five days (smaller tents for the group with a big/main tent for meals, etc) - and it was neat to take a panga/canoe like craft - out to the "babies" - who would spout/blow water for the touristas, while mom lingered nearby - sometimes calling back her calf if she got a little nervous. BTW - she said whale "breath" is very fishy smelling - as you may imagine!

She also discovered a good Mexican dark beer - Negro Modelo - and while we normally drink wine - this is a special treat from time to time. http://bryehn.net/2011/05/negra-mode...mexican-beers/

And YO - Dorothy: We young guys (years ago anyway for moi) might have done some chest bumping of each other when vying for attention from the ladies - but rarely did it get into a full fledged fight.

Now having said that - I have seen times when the lady in question was secretly giddy over the fact that two guys would fight over her, sometimes quite seriously - and it did happen from time to time.

Had to break up one or two tussles myself when some young gal was "feeling the power", but when I was a lowly - pimply faced frosh in high school - two tough seniors really got into it - and no way was I playing peacemaker between those older/bigger dudes (both of whom also played football) - and it was quite a spectacle to behold.

And by the time it was over - the lady in question had already departed.
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Nov 16th, 2012, 06:49 AM
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We also go to Baja to Laguna San Ignacio every year to play with the gray whales. We have booked our trip for March 2013. Every year the gray whales get friendlier and friendlier. We have had mothers pick up their calves and hold them so that we can hug, pet, and kiss them. It is the most amazing experience.

If anyone is interested in joining our group, let me know. We stay at hotels instead of camping on the beach. The trip includes transportation, most meals, four whale trips, hotels, and tequila for under $1,000 for five days and five nights.
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Nov 16th, 2012, 09:05 AM
  #11
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Thanks for the fun and interesting info!!
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Nov 16th, 2012, 10:24 AM
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More fun facts about whales. No human has documented mating or birth of a humpback whale. Gray whales; however, a totally less shy. We were in Baja in early February one year in peak mating season. Everywhere we looked gray whales were going at it. They are so cumbersome that it sometimes takes three whales to complete the mating. One male helps brace the female. The mating was really graceful and tender, surprisingly enough, there was a lot of foreplay on the surface with most of the action taking place under water. We had one couple use our panga as the third party. We did not get a good look at "Pink Floyd" but search in YouTube if you are curious.
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Nov 16th, 2012, 08:13 PM
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LOL about not seeing "Pink Floyd". Hey - saw a 4' tall donkey by Red Rock Canyon just outside of Las Vegas letting it all out - and I grew up around horses - and they had nothing on this guy.

Also swam with Dolphins in the Bahamas - and they could "impress" also - but the Whale has to be at the top of the swagger chain.
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