Captain Dan's Blog

January 6th, 2015

This year Dan McSweeney’s Whale Watching Adventures has begun its season with amazing sightings! Humpbacks are continuing to flow into the calm waters around the Kona coast as the migration of this endangered species continues. Each trip has had the pleasure of sharing the ocean with these gentle giants and their dolphin associates. Calves and mothers are enjoying themselves in the warm sun, swimming near enough to the Whale Watch vessel to allow passengers a good look. They often will lift a fin or a tail for happy participants with raised cameras. In addition to amazing sightings of mothers and calves, male singing whales have been heard as well as “friendly” Humpback visits towards and under the boat as they arrive in greater numbers. Mating groups of Humpbacks have also been encountered.
As the days of Hawaii winter progress, more humpbacks will move along the coastal areas, providing more and more interactions between individuals and groups. They will entertain passengers with spectacular displays of breaching, head slams, tail lobs and pectoral fin slaps which, of course, include the huge splashes that everyone loves.
One additional thrill we are currently having at Dan McSweeney’s Whale Watch is spotting the newest of the Endangered Marine Mammal in Hawaii. False Killer whales have the dubious distinction of being listed in this category a few years back with a population estimated at only about 150 individuals around the Islands. The most commonly encountered pod, what we call “cluster #1,” has an individual that is carrying a satellite tracking tag. The group has been circling Hawaii Island over the past few weeks and we’ve found them on several trips. They are a rare delight and we have had the privilege of seeing them in their natural behaviors, including chasing down large fish like the Ahi (tuna) and Mahi Mahi (dolphin fish). When the pod of False Killer whales capture their favorite meal, participating individual whales often “share” the spoils with each other before continuing the chase for additional food. To the delight of tour participants there are now rare pictures on many cameras.
In addition, Dolphins can sometimes be seen swimming among the whales and playing with them as we watch. Spinner, Bottlenose and Spotted dolphins will also swim in the wake of the vessel and with the Humpback whales, entertaining Whale Watch participants for the sheer joy of it! All of this has happened in the first weeks of this Whale Watch, and with the peak of the Humpback whale migration still months away we look forward to a continuously exciting whale watching season!
Be sure to book your seats on Dan McSweeney’s Whale Watch early as the seats fill up quickly. We run twice daily, at 7:00am and 11:00am, and it is our pleasure to serve you not only with whale sightings but snacks and well documented information about all of the whales we see on our trips. Come join us, have some snacks and refreshments and remember, bring your camera! You can make reservations by clicking the link to the left or by calling 888-942-5376. We look forward to having you aboard with Captain Dan!

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