Kauai’s Humpback Whales or Kohala come to Hawaii every year to mate and birth their young in the warm, tropical waters. These magnificent creatures can be seen from November through May, but peak season is during the winter months of January and February when most of the calving occurs.
Humpback Whales can viewed from shore at any number of locations around Kauai, but for a more up close and personal experience, joining a whale watching boat tour is the way to go. There is something rather exhilarating about witnessing a 40 ton animal launching out of the water on its own accord only to fall back and displace an equal amount of water. If you have never seen this event, there are really no words to describe it. Wildlife enthusiasts will not want to miss this.
While a full breach is absolutely the most exciting display that you may see, Kauai whales also exhibit a number of other interesting behaviors. With extremely elongated pectoral fins that easily measure one-third the length of their body, they may wave or slap the water in what is called a pec wave, or peck slap. When whales are curious, you may see them poke their head out of the water just past the eye and then twist in an effort to see what is going on. This is also known as a spy hop. Tail and peduncle slaps are also common. It does not really matter what the whales are doing, they are sure to mesmerize you with their sheer size and grace.