As Mama always said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get” and when it comes to whale watching this statement is totally true. You could have a lot of activity or little-to-none, and when we booked our whale watch with Trilogy Excursions last year we could have never guessed that we’d be treated to such a spectacular show.
Between the months of November through April, Alaskan Humpback whales can be found throughout the warm, tropical, Hawaiian waters; and their favorite ocean playground just happens to be nestled in between Maui and her two offshore islands, Lanai and Molokai. According to the Trilogy whale expert, the greatest concentration of whales is found in the area because the ocean is shallower which provides a feeling of safety for the mothers and their newborn calves. (Sounds like a good plan to me!)
We spent a lot of time relaxing on Ka’anapali Beach and as we scanned the horizon we would notice whales many times throughout the day — whale spouts, whale fins, whale breaches, it was quite the show — and these sightings only increased our excitement to get out on the water later on in the week.
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon when my family and I boarded the Trilogy IV, and we had high hopes of seeing a whale or two up-close at some point during our two-hour sail. Of course it didn’t take long for our school-bus-sized friends to show up as we sailed along in the ‘Au-‘au channel.
I’ve mentioned it before, but it always seems like the whales are most active off in the distance and the moment that your boat finally arrives in the area their activity becomes minimal (it’s like an inconvenient case of stage fright). This has happened on every whale watch we have been on, but it adds to the mystique… it’s as if we are searching for buried treasure — a treasure that can swim, dive, and move away from you, or surprise you by breaching right next to your boat.
Luckily for us, not only were we able to see whales somewhat close to our boat, but a few rambunctious whales were kind enough to show off their aerial displays not too far away from our location.
One of the things that I love about Trilogy is the small guest list — with 30-40 other passengers you are guaranteed a front row seat to the show — and as long as the conditions permit, they board right from Ka’anapali Beach which was super convenient since we were staying at the Westin Maui this time around.
I prefer scheduling a morning whale watch because the ocean is calmer before the afternoon winds pick up, however, on our visit in January the only available time for the Ka’anapali Whale Watch was at 1:30pm. So without any other options (besides booking with another company) we made our reservation and looked forward to the excursion. The tour was definitely windy than usual due to the afternoon hour, which also meant that the ocean was choppier, but it wasn’t a deal breaker. On our next visit I’ll stick to keeping our tour within the morning hours, but I’ll never pass up an opportunity for a Maui whale watch with Trilogy Excursions.
*Many thanks to my super talented husband for capturing these amazing photos.**
Have you been whale watching? What’s your favorite experience out on the ocean?