Big Island Snorkling Tours Blog

Humpback Whales Counted, Observed From Shorelines Of Main Hawaiian Islands

Hoku Nui on the water

Big Island Now updates us the whale count on January 30th.  Our tours have been known to see a few whales en route to Kealakekua Bay in addition to many other sea creatures.

Eighty-seven trained site leaders gathered data from the shores of the Big Island, Kaua‘i and O‘ahu during the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count and from Maui during the Great Whale Count by Pacific Whale Foundation, the first of three coordinated whale counts between the two organizations in 2022.

Site leaders collected data Saturday, Jan. 29, from 45 sites throughout all the main Hawaiian Islands. A total of 278 whale sightings were seen from 9-9:15 a.m., the most of any time period throughout the day’s count.

On the islands of Hawai‘i, O‘ahu, and Kaua‘i, site leaders collected data from 33 sites; a total of 163 whale sightings were seen from 8:30-8:45 a.m., the most of any time period throughout the day’s count.

On Maui, site leaders collected data from 12 sites during 15-minute intervals between 8:30 and 11:45 a.m. A total of 122 whale sightings were seen from 9-9:15 a.m., the most of any time period throughout the day’s count.

This is the fourth year that both counts were coordinated on the same days, ensuring the data from all the main Hawaiian Islands are collected simultaneously.

Site leaders tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals’ surface behavior during the survey, which provides a snapshot of humpback whale activity from shorelines. Both counts take place three times during peak whale season annually on the last Saturdays in January, February and March.

Weather conditions were ideal for viewing whales, with sunny skies, calm seas and light winds. A variety of other species were also spotted during the count, including honu (green sea turtles), naiʻa (spinner dolphins) and multiple seabird species such as ʻiwa (great frigatebird), mōlī (laysan albatross) and others.

Because of COVID-19 safety precautions, the sanctuary and Pacific Whale Foundation are operating modified programs without the normal participation of volunteers. Instead, each site is monitored by trained site leaders working individually or as a couple.

Ocean users are reminded to follow whale watching guidelines provided in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary’s Ocean Etiquette and Pacific Whale Foundation’s Be Whale Aware programs.



More Posts

Manago Hotel & Restaurant

The Manago Hotel & Restaurant

Only In Your State on the oldest restaurant in Hawaii, which is in the Manago Hotel in Captain Cook. After your snorkel tour at the

Captain Cook Monument is famous and is located in Kealakekua Bay a famous snorkeling spot on the Big Island.

Ka’awaloa South Kona, Hawaii

Ka’awaloa was once a thriving town on the north side of Kealakekua Bay. During the last part of the 18th century, Hawaiian Royalty resided there

People on the Hoku Nui sailing to snorkel spot

Famous Kealakekua Bay

Hop on the Hoku Nui for a snorkel tour and feel the spirit of aloha with our amazing crew. As a visitor to the Island

Guests on the Hoku Nui

Morning Snorkel Tour

Join us on the luxurious Hoku Nui and sail down the beautiful Kona Coast to Kealakekua Bay to snorkel under the Captain Cook Monument.  The