31 Jan
2015

What kind of whales around Maui?


The following question was answered by Shyela.

Question:

We're coming to Maui. Wanting to know what kind of whales visit the Maui waters

Answer:

The whales that come to Maui and Hawaii are the beautiful Humpback whales. You may have a chance of seeing more rare species such as Pilot Whales and False Killer Whales, but about 99.9% of the sightings here are of the Humpback. There is a big reason that there are so many whale sightings in Maui waters. "'Au'au Channel" is a relatively shallow channel making the waters very warm. The closer you get to shore the warmer the water is---and a unique trait about Maui is that under the water it is connected to the surrounding islands of Lana'i, Molokai, and Kaho'olawe. This land mass was formerly known as "Maui Nui", which was one large island until the sea level rose leaving the higher elevations above the surface which are now our better known separate islands. The Humpbacks love the warm, calm, bath like waters of the 'Au'au Channel and surrounding areas---one of the primary translations in Hawaiian of 'au'au is "to bathe". It's what our moms and aunties said when it was time to come inside after a day of playing, "Okay kids, it's time to 'au'au!"

I'm sure that answered more questions than you asked, it's just hard NOT to got excited about the whales that come to visit us, and all the wonderful reasons why Maui is such a popular destination of the acrobatic Humpback whales.


(Humpback Whale Performing a "Spyhop" offshore of Maui.)

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