Humpback whales honeymoon in Hawaii
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and it’ll be common to see couples enjoying a romantic time in Hawaii. But we won’t be the only ones.
As many as 10,000 humpback whales travel from Alaska to Hawaii every year to “honeymoon” in Hawaiian waters. Besides being the perfect time for humpback whales to mate, Hawaii’s mild winters are also ideal for birthing and raising their young calves.
The humpbacks’ trip to warmer southern waters begins as early as November. But February is the peak of the humpback whale season in Hawaii, which ends in May.
February has also been designated “Humpback Whale Awareness Month.” That means you can have a whale of a time—pun, definitely intended—at various whale-themed events statewide. The Great Maui Whale Festival, one of the largest of these events, starts tomorrow and runs for two weeks.
The festival’s biggest celebration, Whale Day, kicks off with the Parade of Whales at Kalama Park in Kihei on Feb. 16. A free concert follows with Hawaii musicians John Cruz, Henry Kapono, Barefoot Natives and former American Idol finalist Jasmine Trias.
For a calendar of whale-themed events by island, click here.
Still not enough? On Feb. 23, the Sanctuary Ocean Count (on Oahu, the Big Island and Kauai) and the Great Whale Count (on Maui) take place at various shore locations. Volunteers are still needed.
On a whale watching cruise last year, I witnessed a family of humpbacks swimming near Oahu’s Waianae coast. Here’s a video clip.