16 Whale of a Time

It’s va­ca­tion time for hump­back whales as they ven­ture into the Pailolo Chan­nel with their baby calves in tow.

Where Maui - - Contents - BY RIZZA CO­SIO

Have your eyes peeled, necks craned and cam­eras ready dur­ing th­ese win­ter months when more than 1,200 sight­ings of hump­back whales are ex­pected.

Whale Out

Each year, the warm wa­ters of the Hawai­ian Is­lands in­vite thou­sands of hump­back whales dur­ing their 3,000-mile an­nual mi­gra­tion from the North Pa­cific. Dur­ing their stay, the whales mate, give birth and care for their new­borns. It’s a mag­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence and the best part is that sight­ings can be en­joyed just about any­where that looks out onto the coast of Maui. Here are some of our fa­vorite ways to get up close and per­sonal with th­ese gen­tle gi­ants of the ocean.

WHALE WORLD 101

The Pa­cific Whale Foun­da­tion has been the driv­ing force of whale re­search and fundrais­ing in Hawai‘i for years. Tap into their wealth of re­search and choose from a dozen of their tai­lored tours where marine naturalists share their knowl­edge and the ins and outs of a whale’s world. www.paci­ficwhale.org

VIP VIEWS

Ev­ery seat is a front row seat aboard the “Wiki Wahine,” Ul­ti­mate Whale Watch’s 30-foot hulled raft. Be pre­pared as you and the other 17 pas­sen­gers speed out into the sea from Lāhainā Har­bor to watch whales breach and spout right be­fore your eyes. Or book a VIP tour for a more in­ti­mate ex­pe­ri­ence. Close en­coun­ters are guar­an­teed or your trip is free. For more in­for­ma­tion and reser­va­tions, visit www.ul­ti­mate­whale­watch.com

Tours through­out Maui pro­vide safe and up close looks at th­ese

mag­nif­i­cent mam­mals.

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