Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, November 5, 2002

Thar she blows: Humpbacks back

By Timothy Hurley
Advertiser Maui County Bureau

MA'ALAEA — The first humpback whales of the season were spotted off Maui over the weekend.

Whale naturalist C.T. Ticknor said humpbacks were seen Saturday, Sunday and yesterday, although it wasn't clear if they were the same animals.

On Saturday, a whale was seen off Maui's pali, she said.

The next day, the crew of a commercial fishing vessel and passengers and crew members aboard the tour boat Maka Kai saw a pair of whales in the channel between Molokini and Kaho'olawe. Ticknor also observed the pair from her inflatable boat.

Yesterday, a single whale was reportedly seen in the channel between Maui and Lana'i, she said.

Hawai'i is a winter home for the North Pacific population of humpback whales.

The peak activity here takes place between December and April, when the marine mammals mate and give birth before heading back to their Alaskan feeding grounds.

Last year, the first whale was seen off Lana'i in late October. The year before, the first whale was spotted Sept. 16 near the Lahaina harbor.