They’re back! The onset of Maui’s whale season has whale enthusiasts brimming with excitement as new sightings appear on the horizon. The first humpback whale sightings of the season were reported in the four-island region of Maui County. Several vessels reported sighting whales around Lana‘i and between Lana‘i and Lahaina during the second week of October.They’re back!

These first sighting reports are well within the range of first reported humpback whale sightings in Maui County. Last year, Maui’s first reported humpback whale of the season took place on Oct. 11, around 4:30 p.m. about two to three miles off the coast of Ka‘anapali.

“I look forward to this time of year every year because we get to see whales,” said Naturalist Jeannine Copp. “Humpback whales migrate from Alaska to Maui. It’s amazing they swim all the way here and they don’t eat during the trip or when they’re here. They divide their lives between their kitchen in Alaska and bedroom in Maui. I try to get my friends from the Mainland to come visit me during whale season because that’s the best part of being on Maui.”

According to Pacific Whale Foundation, the humpback whales that come to Hawai‘i travel a distance of about 2,500 to 3,000 miles from their summer feeding areas near Alaska. While in Hawai‘i, the whales mate and give birth to calves.

“The whales don’t arrive at once, but rather flow in and out of Hawai‘i’s waters throughout the winter, often with the greatest number of whale sightings during the months of February and March,” said Anne Rillero, communications director at Pacific Whale Foundation.

This post (including the photo) is an excerpt from the article at Maui Weekly. Click here to go to their site for the full article.