If you want to see whales, now is the time. On Kauai, sightings have been extremely frequent this year. While Humpback whales visit the islands every year, the peak season is in January and February. This is when most of the calving takes place, so be sure to keep your eye out for juvenile whales that are just learning to play.
There is something rather exhilarating about witnessing a 40-ton animal launching out of the water only to fall back to sea with an explosive splash! If you have never seen this event, there are really no words to describe it. Wildlife enthusiasts do not want to miss this event.
If you are visiting Kauai, this is one of those treats that you can see for free. Whales can viewed just about anywhere along the coast, but you can enhance your experience by choosing one of Kauai’s beautiful beaches. One of my favorite spots to see whales is along the Coastal Path on the East Side. If you are looking for a more up close and personal experience, joining a whale watching boat tour is definitely the way to go.
While a full breach is absolutely the most exciting display that you may see, you might also see a number of other interesting whale behaviors. With extremely elongated pectoral fins that easily measure a third the length of their body, they may wave or slap the water in what is called a pec wave, or pec slap. A thundering tail or peduncle slap is also fairly common. This can be quite entertaining if it is repeated and you might get a show that lasts for several minutes.
Humpback whales are also known as kohola in Hawaii. They migrate each year from the food-rich icy waters of Alaska, traveling nearly 3000 miles to the Hawaiian Islands. This journey can take them nearly two months. They come to Hawaii to mate and birth their young in the warm, tropical waters here. They will stick around and delight us for about 6-8 weeks before returning to their summer home to feed.
Watching whales is just one of the amazing things that you can do while on Kauai. If you like marine life, try snorkeling at one of Kauai’s best snorkeling spots, or you might want to take a stroll along the Kauai’s South Shore to watch the turtles feeding at high tide. If you are lucky, you might even get to see the endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal. They often haul themselves out onto the warm sunny sand to rest. If wildlife is your thing, Kauai is the place to be!