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WKORV - whale watching?

Politico

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We are going to WKORV at the end of January. We've already been there twice but both times were outside of whale watching season. I've looked at several whale watching excursions online and was glad to see that some of the boats depart from Lahaina. Does anyone have recommendations on what whale watching trip/company we should use?
 

susan6103

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whale watching

We are going to WKORV at the end of January. We've already been there twice but both times were outside of whale watching season. I've looked at several whale watching excursions online and was glad to see that some of the boats depart from Lahaina. Does anyone have recommendations on what whale watching trip/company we should use?

We went last January with the Pacific Whale Foundation and were quite happy with the tour. It cost slightly more than some other tours but we chose them because of the advocacy work they do with the whales.

http://www.pacificwhale.org/
 

LisaRex

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January is in the middle of whale season. There's no need to go on a "whale watch" specifically as they're everywhere. So your best best is to partner it with another activity and kill two birds with one stone.

For instance, you can do the all day Trilogy trip to Lanai -- a trip I highly recommend and includes snorkeling and a trip to Lanai (plus good food) -- and see plenty of whales en route. Or you can book a kayaking trip, or a sunset chocolate and champagne sail.

Pacific Whale Foundation does whale watch tours, and if you're a member you can get discounted tickets, but I actually prefer a smaller catamaran or sailboat.
 
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Westin5Star

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I agree with Lisa about Trilogy. They are a great company and we have been with them several times.

Our favorite boat tour in Maui is Safari Boat Adventures. It is a full day ADVENTURE. You will see whales and dolphins on this trip. I have done some of the best snorkeling on the back side of Lanai which most boats do not go to. The boat only holds about 24 people and you will need reservations ahead of time.

BTW, my family will be there January 21-30. Let me know if you want to meet up for drinks or to take an ADVENTURE!
 

MON2REY

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We've gone on several whale watching trips (usually with PWF) but the best one we went on out of Lahaina Harbor was on a zodiac pontoon boat. I'm sorry that I can't remember the name but it is easy to find. Where the large boats see many whales from a distance and occasionally up close, in the zodiac, if a whale is seen in the distance they can kick the boat into high gear and get to the whales before they are gone. You are out in the weather and there is no bar but if you really want to see the whales I recommend the zodiacs.
 

glypnirsgirl

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Last April, we went out on one of the zodiacs - they really do allow you to get "upclose and personal" -

This is from my posting after returning last April:

"I highly recommend Ultimate Whale Watch. Our captain, Rachel, made a real effort to obey the rules about not harassing, chasing, etc. the whales and at the same time seemed to have a knack for positioning the boat so that the whales were coming towards us. Jill on the Maui Nui seemed to have the same knack. No other boats were getting the same intense experiences that these two boats were getting."

Although it may not be clear, both of the boats described above are the hard-hulled zodiacs.

Because the boats are so small, everyone is either right on the pontoon or in the middle looking out between two people on the pontoon. There is no place on the boat that is more than two people deep.

We were so close, we could see scars, cuts and barnacles on the whales. Ian was able to get close enough that the bright blue spots showed up in the photographs.

Hope you have a great time!

elaine
 

Maui_ed

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Add another vote for Trilogy. Used them 4 or 5 times now, and never been disappointed. We will be using them again in February when we are back at WKORVN.
 

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The concierge at the WKORN recommended Captain Steve's rafting when we were there last Feb. It was a great trip. He uses the smaller 20 person "rafts" which are really aluminum hulled boats with pontoon sides. His website is http://www.captainsteves.com/index.html

We got very close to the whales. Much closer than when we were out on the Pacific Whale Foundation.

We also like to sail on the Scotch Mist as well. You don't get real close to the whales on this boat, but they do sail it.

Greg
 

Westin5Star

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I also went on Captain Steve's last year and we had a very good time. We actually had a whale come up out of the water when we were at full speed and we almost hit it. My kids were in the front of the boat and jumped back when the whale came out of the water; you could have touched the whale had you stuck your arm out.

I still think that Safari Boat Adventures (also a relatively small boat) around the back side of Lanai is a much better overall trip- better snorkeling, site seeing, entertainment, and food. You may spend as much time whale watching on this tour but you will see plenty.
 

grgs

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May be a dumb question, but is there a particular time of day that is better for whale watching? I noticed some companies offer a discount for early bird and later in the afternoon. Are conditions not as good early or later in the day (either for viewing or rough waters)?

We'll be at WKORV-N in early/mid Jan. and I'm looking forward to a whale watching tour. I don't mind getting up early to save a little money, but not if that means viewing won't be optimal.

Thanks,

Glorian
 

LisaRex

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May be a dumb question, but is there a particular time of day that is better for whale watching? I noticed some companies offer a discount for early bird and later in the afternoon. Are conditions not as good early or later in the day (either for viewing or rough waters)?

We'll be at WKORV-N in early/mid Jan. and I'm looking forward to a whale watching tour. I don't mind getting up early to save a little money, but not if that means viewing won't be optimal.

Thanks,

Glorian

The discount is probably to attract people on the less popular trips. :) Don't worry about taking an early morning trip, because you'll be on mainland time and 7am will seem like noon to you, especially early on in your vacation.

As far as rough waters go, generally speaking on Maui, morning is calmer on the water than afternoon. As the heat picks up during the day, the the trade winds eventually make their way over the mountain and it can get very windy, and very rough on the water. The Ma'alea port (where Pacific Whale Foundation docks) is especially windy because it's between Haleakala and the West Maui mountains. When we returned from our PWF snorkeling trip, it was so windy that there were white caps. (Ma'alea is also where they built the wind turbines for energy collection. That should give you an idea how windy it is there.)
 

HatTrick

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Don't worry about taking an early morning trip, because you'll be on mainland time and 7am will seem like noon to you, especially early on in your vacation.

If you're from Ohio, but Glorian is located in California, so 7am will seem like 10am--or 9am since there will be only a two hour difference in January. ;)
 

grgs

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The discount is probably to attract people on the less popular trips. :) Don't worry about taking an early morning trip, because you'll be on mainland time and 7am will seem like noon to you, especially early on in your vacation.

As far as rough waters go, generally speaking on Maui, morning is calmer on the water than afternoon. As the heat picks up during the day, the the trade winds eventually make their way over the mountain and it can get very windy, and very rough on the water. The Ma'alea port (where Pacific Whale Foundation docks) is especially windy because it's between Haleakala and the West Maui mountains. When we returned from our PWF snorkeling trip, it was so windy that there were white caps. (Ma'alea is also where they built the wind turbines for energy collection. That should give you an idea how windy it is there.)

Thanks for the info. I agree that the early time will be fine for us in the first few days of the trip.
 

grgs

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If you're from Ohio, but Glorian is located in California, so 7am will seem like 10am--or 9am since there will be only a two hour difference in January. ;)

That will still allow us to have a lie in. I'm normally up at 6:15 am on weekdays and my huband is up at 4:45 am. I keep trying to tell him that sleeping in 7 am on weekends is not a moral failing! On the other hand, we don't usually have a problem getting pool chairs.

Glorian
 

LisaRex

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If you're from Ohio, but Glorian is located in California, so 7am will seem like 10am--or 9am since there will be only a two hour difference in January. ;)

True that. For some reason, I thought Glorian was from Ohio, too (even though it's right there on her profile that she's from CA).
 

Jesse N Kristina

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We went out with Captain Steve last year and had an amazing time. We will be going out with Captain Steve again this February. The smaller boats allow you to get much closer and hanging your feet in the water while whales swim a couple feet away is amazing!
 
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