Captain Dan's Blog

November 28th, 2016

After a summer and fall observing stunning and intelligent Orca whales, and feeding Humpbacks in Washington State and Southeast Alaska, 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 Hawaii has steadily increased. Although January, February and March are their biggest migration months, there have already been sightings of cows arriving to give birth and rear their young, as recently born calves discover a warm oceanic playground. The mothers and calves can often 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. At birth,their calves are a mere 11-16 feet long and weigh about 2,000 pounds, but will gain weight rapidly, and within a year be difficult to distinguish from other juvenile whales. In addition, pods of 6 or more humpback 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. 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 also playing in the waters around the island. As always, the whales are sometimes joined by spinner, spotted and bottlenose dolphins that 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 on our next available trip, and treated with the same warm hospitality, as is the norm on all our trips. Each trip includes cool refreshments and snacks, as well as educational information given first by Captain Dan himself and supplemented by his engaging and 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 likely you are to see. If you are limited by time and want only a “glimpse” of some whales spouting in the distance, then 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.
Captain Dan begins running regular morning tours on Thursday, December 15th this year. Each trip yields unexpected surprises as we never know exactly what we will see. To top it off, when you book with Captain Dan, you receive a stunning complimentary 8×10 color photo of a whale that he personally took on one of his whale trips!
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 toll free at 888-942-5376, or simply click the Make a Reservation tab to the left of the screen on our website at www.ilovewhales.com. If you want the calmer water, cooler air temperatures, nice lighting for getting great pictures, 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 45 years of knowledge and experience around these wild creatures!

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