December 03, 2018

Following an unprecedented year for the Big Island of Hawaii for geological and landscape changes, the air and pristine waters along the Kona coast has never been more blue, or more crystal clear. Scientists confirm that the VOG is gone and the whales are back! Just in recent days, Humpbacks have already been sighted along Kona’s west coast inshore and out. Returning year after year, these huge forty-ton baleen whales have traveled thousands of miles from their northern feeding grounds just to return to these unique breeding and nursery areas along the west coast of The Big Island. And once again, Captain Dan McSweeney and his vessel, the Lady Ann, have already been out on these waters searching and recording sightings of Humpbacks as well as all the other toothed whales that live in these enticing waters of Kona.
After spending time in the colder waters of the Pacific Northwest and Canada this past summer and fall, where the endangered southern resident Orca whales are struggling to survive, Captain Dan McSweeney returns to his home for his 47th winter to continue his work with the mighty Humpback whales. Captain Dan McSweeney’s Whale Watch aboard the Lady Ann will begin its 2018/2019 season in mid-December as these enormous marine mammals continue to increase in numbers and visibility. One of the reasons that makes these Hawaiian waters so unique, is they support one of the highest diversity of marine mammal species on the planet, which includes twelve species of toothed whales and seven species of baleen whales. In fact, a pod of the largest toothed whale in the world, the rare Sperm whale, have frequently been spotted in Kona waters in the deeper waters beyond the more shallow areas where female and calf Humpbacks are usually found. Captain Dan has also observed multiple species of the extremely difficult-to-spot Beaked whale groups around the Big Island Kona waters, as well as the more common Spinner, Bottlenose, and Spotted dolphins. The fascinating behaviors of the Pilot whales are always a treat, and Captain Dan has a sixth sense for finding them. Pilot whales are smaller than the Humpback and Sperm whales, but are unique in their social behavior and can be found in groups that can number as many as thirty individuals, including males, females, and calves.
Dan will begin running his regular morning tours on Tuesday, December 18th this year. As you know, these Humpbacks are wild creatures that move around a big ocean environment. Each trip yields unexpected surprises as we never know exactly what mother nature will serve up. If you want to increase your chances of seeing these animals close up and personal, Captain Dan’s three-hour tours are your best bet. As with watching any wild creature, especially in a marine environment, the more time you have to watch, the higher the likelihood that you will encounter these whales and observe their fascinating behaviors, such as breaching, tail-lobbing, and courtship. Captain Dan will go above and beyond to help provide you opportunities for incredible and breathtaking photographs that you don’t want to miss.
It’s best to plan ahead in this busy season, so book soon! As an extra bonus when you book with Captain Dan, you will receive a stunning complimentary autographed photograph of a whale he personally took during his research efforts. To book your adventure and indulge your 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 to the left of the screen on our web site at If you desire the calmer water, cooler air temperatures, and the rest of the day to enjoy other activities, you might want to consider booking the early morning excursion. Captain Dan typically offers both 7am and 11am departures. Both trips are the longer three-hour tours. We look forward to serving and providing you with the whale watching benefits of Captain Dan’s over 4 decades of knowledge and experience around these wild and fascinating creatures!