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Whale Calf Sighting


Safari Explorer Crew, Safari Explorer, January 2016

It’s the first calf sighting of the season! We have been seeing more and more humpback whales lately aboard the Safari Explorer in Hawaii. This is the breeding and calving grounds for a large percentage of the North Pacific humpback whale population. However, we hadn’t seen any newborn calves until now.


After a wonderful morning snorkel off the west coast of Maui, we spent a couple of hours whale watching on our way to historical Lahaina town. On our way, we spotted two whale blows side by side and noticed that one of the blows was much smaller than the other.


When we got closer, we realized it was a humpback calf. The first we’d seen this year. Born right here in Hawaii, these baby whales look tiny next to their mother. However, I do remind guests that the baby whales are about the size of a small pick-up truck.

The bond between mother and calf is incredibly strong with neither leaving each other’s side for an entire year. The calf learns a plethora of aerobic behaviors and receives rich milk from its mother.


We were lucky enough to stick with this mom and calf for a good length of time, watching it perform some of these acrobatic behaviors that make humpback whale watching so exciting. I imagine we will start seeing more and more of the mom and calf pairs in the coming weeks.

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