Frequently Asked Questions
Are your boats safe?
We guarantee whales from December to May. The best months are typically Jan, Feb, March an April
What time of day are the whales most active?
Whale activity is random throughout the day and surface activity in the area changes from hour to hour.
What time of day is best for whale watching?
Wind is the primary variable to consider. The more wind the less area we can access. If wind is moderate all day whale watching is great all day.
The Hawaiian islands have micro climates on each island. It can be windy rainy where you are and 10 minutes away it can be sunny and calm. A good weather forecast web site is www.hawaiiweathertoday.com Our vessel departs out of the leeward side of the island.
About Our Boat
Are your boats safe?
Yes, our boats are extremely safe. This style of boat is used by the Coast Guard, Navy and Police for rescue operations. Our boats also undergo strict Coast Guard safety regulations every year to insure that all necessary safety gear is in place.
I heard that these boats are a really rough ride, are there any restrictions on who can go on your trip.
The waters of off Lahaina is famous for its calm water, so the boat ride is normally very calm. If the water does get rough the boats are made to handle the water very well. We do not recommend pregnant women and infants or people with recent back surgery. Kids are always welcome on the boat—kids love the boat ride.
How many passengers do you take out?
Our boats are certified by the Coast Guard to carry 22 passengers, we take a maximum of 18 guests. This helps for comfort and maintaining a quality viewing platform.
Have the whales ever tipped your boat over?
No, the whales are known as gentle giants of the sea. We do have whales swim under the boat, and have had whales touch the boat.
Is there shade on the boat?
Yes. 60% of the boat is shaded. Wear sun protection, because it is common to move around on the boat and reflection off of the water is commonly not considered.
What type of camera and lens should I bring?
A camera with a fast shutter speed ( you press and instant photo) with a lens that is good from 10 feet to 100 yards (3 meters to 100 meters).
A slow shutter speed as with many point and shoots, will get you a lot of splash shots with no animal in the frame. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, sometimes luck out performs skill and equipment.
What tips do you have for getting good whale shots?
When the boat slows down and it is possible to take a shot, have your camera up and ready. The action usually comes quick, if you are not ready, finger on the trigger and camera drawn, you have most likely missed the shot.
Don’t review your photos when opportunities are still available, you will miss the best one. Have your camera adjusted before, review and adjust when underway to next pod of whales.
What time of day is best for whale photos?
This is up to the artist some like mid-day, overhead strong lighting, sunrise and sunset trips offer the most dynamic lighting scenarios.
Can I take underwater photos or video?
Yes. If this is your main focus go to the back of the boat. You can lean over the tube and have both hands in the water to operate a camera in a housing or easily manipulate a go pro with one hand.
Tip: Go for it. Sometimes you don’t think you’re getting anything and you will be surprised that you got the money shot or video.
About Our Tours
How long are your trips?
We offer all different trips. Most whale watches are 2 hours long and most snorkel trips are 4 or 6 hours.
What is included on your trips?
Our trips include seeing Humpback Whales, information about the whales hearing the amazing whale songs. Ice water is also provided.
How far out do you go to find the whales?
It really depends on the day. We can find whales just outside the harbor, but we are always looking for the most active whales. On our 2 hour whale watch we could travel anywhere from 2 to 10 miles from the harbor.
Do you have a naturalist on board?
Yes, all captains and crew members are certified marine specialists. Our boats only carry 18 guests per trip so you can actually talk face to face with our captains and crew. Our captains and crew love there job and sharing their knowledge with our guests. We offer the most informative whale watches available because of our small groups.
How close can you get to the whales?
The whales are protected by federal law which says you cannot approach Humpback Whales within 100 yards. If the whales swim over to us then it is O.K., and can be exciting!
What does Guaranteed Whales mean?
All trips from DEC 1st – May 1st are guaranteed or you get to go again for FREE! When you go out with us we guarantee you will see whales as close as 100 yards.
How much are whale watching trips?
Our trips range in price from our early bird special to our sunset whale watch. We charge a little more ($10) than the other boats because we offer a more personalized trip and we cover more area so you see more whales.
About the Whales
What kind of whales will I see on your trip?
Humpback Whales from Alaska. On our trips occasionally we encounter dolphins.
Why do the whales come to Hawaii?
The whales travel from Alaska to give birth and mate in a safer area for calves. The primary predator of humpback calf is orca which is uncommon in Hawaiian waters.
Where do the whales come from?
The Humpback Whales travel over 3000 miles every winter from Alaska to Hawaii to mate and give birth in the warm waters of Hawaii. The whales start their journey back to Alaska at the end of winter.
How many whales are in Hawaii during the winter?
Researchers estimate between 20,000 to 30,000 whales travel south from Alaska to Hawaii. Of those numbers, over 70% come to the calm waters between Maui, Molokai and Lanai.
How big are the whales?
Average adult whales are 45 feet in length and weigh over 90,000 pounds. The baby whales are born at an average of 12 feet and 3000 pounds.
Will I see baby whales on your trips?
More than likely. During their stay in Hawaii there main goal is to give birth or mate for the next year. We typically see babies every trip.
What can I expect to see the whales doing? Are the whales active?
Activity ranges from breeching, tail slapping, head lunges, fighting and even teaching their young. Humpback whales are the most surface active whales.