"The whales were jumping right next to the boat! I really couldn't believe that it was real. They were graceful and magnificent and so playful. It was really the highlight of our trip!"
Lynn Brewer - North Carolina
WHALE SEASON ON BIG ISLAND HAWAII
(NOVEMBER – MAY)
Humpback whale season on the Big Island (and all other Hawaiian islands) is between November and Early May. The first whales start arriving in November, and their numbers steadily build up as the season goes on until they peak in the months January, February, and March. The whales leave Hawai’i again late April / early May.
Every year since 1996 volunteers count the whales at many locations throughout the Hawaiian islands for the Sanctuary Ocean Count. The results of this count are not easy to digest, but the general picture that emerges for the Big Island is the following:
The Kohala coast is by far the best place to see humpback whales. Sightings here are sometimes two or three times more frequent than at other locations on the island.
January and February are the best months the see whales at the Kohala coast. In March the total count number halves, but there seem to be slightly more sightings on the Hamakua (northeast) coast.
Early in the morning is the best time to see whales. The number of whale sightings on the Big Island at 0800 am is ~50% higher the amount at noon.
Average numbers for whale sightings fluctuate a lot! On average over all locations, between 3 and 6 whales were seen per 15-minute period in January and February. However, this average includes some sites with 0 sightings and other with as much as 15-20 whales.1
For more information about scheduling your Whale Watching Expedition please contact the Captain so that we can design the perfect trip for your budget.
1“Whale Watching Guide for the Big Island.” Love Big Island