The first humpback whale of the season was spotted by a boat captain off the coast of the Big Island in Honaunau Bay on September, 26th!
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the captain witnessed two tail slaps from a humpback whale yearling in the bay which is located on the South Kona coast.Last year’s first sighting in Hawai'i took place off the coast of Maui on October 20. The whale was a lone subadult humpback whale.
The Pacific Whale Foundation has records dating back to 1998, which show the first whale sightings off the coast of Maui. 9 of the 13 first reported sightings took place in October; the others were in late September or early November.
The first sightings of the year are often subadults -- whales that have not yet reached adulthood and sexual maturity. They are later followed by mothers and their calves. Mature males and females arrive later, followed by pregnant females.
In 2009, the first sighting off Maui was also on October 20.
Here are the dates of the first reported Maui sightings:
October 20, 2010
October 20, 2009
October 8, 2008
October 7, 2007
October 11, 2006
November 11, 2005
October 23, 2004
October 21, 2003
November 3, 2002
October 31, 2001
September 16, 2000
September 30, 1999
October 13, 1998
We are happy to have the whales back – and of course, we are eagerly awaiting the first whale songs of the season. The concert in the deep blue will start around Christmas time and we are working hard to get the bouy into the water in time. Stay tuned for this upcoming whale season!