Although Maui gets all the credit for the local wintering humpback-whale population, the big cetaceans also come to Molokai December–April. Mokuhooniki Island at the east end serves as a whale nursery and courting ground, and the whales pass back and forth along the south shore. This being Molokai, whale-watching here will never involve floating amid a group of boats all ogling the same whale.

Boats and Charters

Alyce C.. Although this six-passenger sportfishing boat is usually busy hooking mahimahi and marlin, the captain will gladly take you on a three-hour excursion to admire the humpback whales. The price is based on the number of people in your group. Kaunakakai Wharf, Kaunakakai Pl., Kaunakakai, Hawaii, 96748. 808/558–8377; www.alycecsportfishing.com. From $75 per person.

Ama Lua. The crew of this 31-foot dive boat, which holds up to 12 passengers, is respectful of the whales and the laws that protect them. A two-hour whale-watching trip departs from Kaunakakai Wharf at 7 am daily, December–April. Molokai Fish & Dive, 53 Ala Malama St., Kaunakakai, Hawaii, 96748. 808/553–5926; www.molokaifishanddive.com. From $79 per person.

Fun Hogs Sportfishing. The Ahi, a flybridge sportfishing boat, takes you on 2½-hour whale-watching trips in the morning, December–April. No food or drink is provided. Kaunakakai Wharf, Kaunakakai Pl., Kaunakakai, Hawaii, 96748. 808/336-0047; www.molokaifishing.com. From $70 per person.