which runs between the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai in Hawaii. Sorry my pictures are not very good, but believe me when I tell you the whale watching adventure was thrilling. We must have seen more than 20 humpback whales in the Au’au Channel south of Lahaina. We had barely pulled out of the harbor and into deeper water when a whale surfaced literally right next to our boat. We were all so startled that I don’t think anyone got a picture!
The boat ride was a bit rocky, so trying to use my Samsung phone to shoot pictures in the bright glaring sun while trying to hang onto the side and not drop my phone in the water didn’t make for the easiest time.
But seeing the whales and learning about them from biologist Dan was fascinating. Bet you didn’t know:
Humpback whales swim about 3 to 8 miles an hour but can go 20 miles an hour for a short distance
The main natural predator of the humpback whale is the orca
Humpback whales can go five hours without breathing and slow their heart rate to one beat every seven minutes.
Humpbacks are not monogamous. If you see two adults and a baby together, the group will consist of mother and baby plus a male escort whale. He’s not there for protection, he’s there to breed with the female if she’ll allow it.
A competition group consists of a female whale and several males jockeying for position to mate with her. They jostle and fight with each other and try to impress her (typical males!)
Humpbacks live and feed much of the year in the Pacific Northwest and come to Maui to breed, give birth and, of course, for the Mai Tais!