Captain Dan's Blog

December 16th, 2014

After a Summer and Fall observing stunning and intelligent Orca whales in Washington State and giant yet gentle Southern Right Whales off the coast of the Peninsula Valdez in Argentinian Patagonia, Captain Dan McSweeney has come home to Hawaii to continue his work with the mighty Humpback whales. For several weeks now the number of Humpbacks returning to the Hawaii has steadily increased and although January-February and March are their biggest migration months, there have already been spottings of cows arriving to give birth and rear their young as recently born calves discovering a warm oceanic playground. Often, the mothers and calves can be seen playing atop the water, with fins slapping the ocean and tails rising out of the water. These mothers are as much as 40 feet long and weigh 80,000 pounds when they arrive. Their calves, at birth are a mere 11-16 feet long and weigh about 2000 pounds, but will gain weight rapidly and within a year be difficult to distinguish form other juvenile whales. In addition, pods of 5 or more whales and lone males have been spotted as they sing the mysterious humpback song while searching for a mate.
Captain Dan McSweeney’s Whale Watch will begin their Humpback season mid-December as the Humpbacks continue increase in number and visibility. In addition, the giant Sperm Whale, easy to identify and amazing to observe, has made its presence known in the deeper waters beyond the Humpback nursery and swimming areas. Also, Pilot Whales, smaller than the Humpback and Sperm Whale, but unique in that they travel in groups that can number as many as 30, are playing in the waters around the island. As always, the whales are sometimes joined by spinner, spotted and bottleneck dolphins who love to play in the wake of the Whale Watch boat. Captain McSweeney’s Whale watch guarantees whale sightings. However, if you happen to be on the rare trip where a whale is not sighted, you will be given a second excursion at our expense and treated with the same warm hospitality, as is the norm on all our trips, including cool refreshments and snacks as well as educational information given first by Captain Dan himself and supplemented by his well-educated crew.
We find that a commonly asked question when it comes to whale watching is, “Which is better to see the whales – the 2.0 hour whale watch trips or the longer 3 hour trips like Captain McSweeney’s Whale Watch provides?” That is a very good question. In answer, we understand that whales are wild creatures that move around a big ocean environment. As with watching any wild creature – the longer you have to watch the more you are likely to see. If you are limited by time and want only a “glimpse” of some whales spouting in the distance, than the shorter whale watches might be for you. However, if you want a chance to “watch” whale behaviors develop from simple swimming and spouting to fin slapping and breaching; or if you would like breathtaking photo opportunities; the kind of trip Captain McSweeney’s Whale Watch provides is the one you would enjoy.
Its best to plan ahead in this busy season, so book soon! To book your adventure and indulge your whale watching desire, call us directly at 808-322-0028 or simply click the Make a Reservation icon to the left of the screen on our web site If you want the calmer water, cooler air temperatures, nice lighting for getting great pics and the rest of the day to enjoy other activities, you might want to consider booking the early morning excursion. Dan offers both a 7am and 11 am departure. Both trips are 3 hours in length. We look forward to serving you and providing you with the whale watching benefits of Captain Dan’s knowledge and experience around these wild creatures!

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