Humpback Whale

Hawaii’s first humpback whale sighting of the season happened last week off the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii.  This sighting is almost two months before humpback whales are typically seen in the waters around the Hawaiian islands.

The adult humpback whale was seen surfacing off Honokohau Harbor in Kailua-Kona last Thursday.  Several tour companies, including Atlantis Submarines, Captain Zodiac, Kona Diving Company and Wild Hawaii Ocean Adventures reported the sighting.

Humpback whales typically start migrating from Alaska in November and continue migrating thru May.  The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary reported this might be the earliest humpback sighting in recent history.

Justin Viezbicke, Hawaii Island Programs coordinator for the sanctuary stated, “It’s important for everyone to be extra vigilant during whale season, for their own safety and the protection of the animals, and this year whale season seems to be starting early.”

The Pacific Whale Foundation on Maui offers year round activities for locals and vacationers alike.  Following are two events scheduled for the upcoming weekend of Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16, 2012.

Saturday, September 15 from 9:00am to 11:00am

Get the drift and bag it:  International Coastal Clean-up

Join Pacific Whale Foundation in a clean-up of trash and debris around Ma’alaea Harbor as part of the 27th Annual International Coastal Clean-up and Hawaii’s Get the Drift and Bag It program.

Just offshore from Ma’alaea Harbor is an area where many green sea turtles feed on limu (sea plants) — and where humpback whales mate and give birth in the winter — so your efforts will truly help local marine wildlife.

The clean-up will take place from 9:00 am to 11:30 am. Volunteers will enjoy complimentary artisan-style pizza and salad afterwards at Porto, the flame-fired artisan pizza restaurant located at the Ma’alaea Harbor Shops.

Trash bags and gloves will be provided. To sign up, please call 1-800-942-5311 or (808) 249-8811 ext. 1. Meet at Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Store at the Harbor Shops at Ma’alaea.

Location: Ma’alaea Harbor – Meet at Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Store

Sunday, September 16 from 9:00am to 10:00am – Something special for the little ones!

Sea Wees:  Ocean Edventure for Preschoolers

Now in its 7th year, SeaWees is a Wednesday morning program for children ages 3-5 and their parents/caregivers, provided by the professional marine educators at Pacific Whale Foundation. A developmentally appropriate early-childhood program, SeaWees includes music/movement, demonstrations and guided exploration delivered in a child-centered environment. You can sign up for a single morning or for the entire session. Each session consists of four classroom sessions and one “Seafari” field adventure organized around a marine science theme.

The cost for the entire five-week session (including four classroom sessions and one Seafari Outing) is $50 per child (or $40 for PWF members). To attend a single class, the fee is $12. The second child in the same family may attend for 50% off.  Reservations are required. Please call (808) 249-8811. Class sizes are limited, so reserve as early as possible. Please contact the instructor, Merrill Kaufman, at Pacific Whale Foundation at (808) 856-8322 for specific questions about the program or if your child has special needs.

Location: Ma’alaea Harbor; Meet at Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Store

If you are on Maui enjoying your timeshare vacation at Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas or Marriott Maui Ocean Club, you and the family might want to check out what the Pacific Whale Foundation has scheduled for the time you are visiting.  They have programs designed for every age group which are educational as well as entertaining.

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