Captain Dan's Blog

February 2019

Although January began a new calendar year for us, Humpbacks have been arriving to the crystal blue waters of the Big Island of Hawaii since October. Each year is different, and the whale season aboard the Lady Ann of Captain Dan’s McSweeney’s Whale Watching Adventures has been like no other this year! This has included the sightings of mother Humpbacks and their newborn calves, and the endangered False Killer whales. If you want to see whales, this is the year! Like clockwork, the magnificent Humpback whale is making its 3.000- mile trip from the frigid waters of the North Pacific feeding grounds, to the warmer waters of Hawaii for its mate selection and breeding grounds.

Once again, Captain Dan McSweeney has a 100% success rate, and has been able to find whales on every trip.  This year has been a banner year for behavior. Bottlenose dolphins, a treat to observe around the islands, have been seen in notably increased numbers this year, swimming and engaging with Humpback whales. There is nothing quite like watching encounters of huge 40-ft baleen whales interacting with pods of 10-ft dolphins; the dolphins maneuvering their aerodynamic bodies and participating with another giant species by choice, frolicking and seemingly playing with these huge cousins. The giant Humpbacks respond by tail and flipper slapping, and sometimes breaching, throwing their entire bodies out of the water. There is probably nothing more spectacular! There is truly nothing like this experience, and you are seeing it all from the deck of the Lady Ann’s comfortable seats.

Visitors on the Lady Ann this year have also experienced especially close proximity to these huge Humpback whales. Just this year on several occasions, whales have approached the Lady Ann and swam parallel so close to the boat that people have been able to see the Humpback’s softball-sized eye as it swims along side the boat. Just this season, visitors have also experienced these giant baleen whales swim back and forth under the boat (and even singing whales under the boat was well)! You never know what is going to happen out there on the crystal clear waters of Kona.

This new year of 2019 has also brought incredible sightings and experiences of cow/calf pairs. Although a birth has never been documented in Humpback whales, this year visitors aboard Captain Dan McSweeney’s Lady Ann have observed several newborn calves interacting with their mothers, as they come up to the surface to breathe as the female stays close.

Another reason that makes the Big Island such a unique place for watching and studying whales is the diversity of whale species that live and feed and breed around these waters. Not only can you see the giant baleen whales, but you may potentially see many of the toothed whale species, including short-finned Pilot whales, Spotted and Spinner dolphins, the rare Beaked whales, and the endangered False Killer whale. Furthermore, the giant Sperm whales are often seen in the offshore waters of the Big Island with their huge heads and forward facing spouts. Whales watching just can’t be beat off the Kona shoreline of the Big Island, especially with your guide biologist/researcher Captain Dan McSweeney.

It’s best to plan ahead in this upcoming season of February and March, so book soon! To book your adventure and indulge you whale watching desires, call us directly at 808-322-0028 or toll free at 888-942-5376 or simply click the Make A Reservation tab on the left side of the screen at our website www.Ilovewhales.com If you want the calmer waters, cooler air temperatures and nice lighting as the sun rises over the mountain, you might want to consider booking the early morning excursion. Captain Dan offers both a 7AM departure (returning around 10AM) and an 11AM departure (returning around 2PM). Both trips are 3 hours in length. Both trips have complementary snacks and beverages, as well as a 4-color whale watching guide souvenir and a stunning 8 X 11 color whale photo taken by your Captain. Sailing with Captain Dan is always a delightful and educational experience. We look forward to serving you and providing you with the whale watching benefits of Captain Dan’s 45 years of knowledge, research, and experience around these wild creatures!

(SEE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON DAN’S TRIPS ON OUT “TOURS and INFORMATION” PAGE)

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