The annual winter migration of the whales to Hawaiian waters is a special event. I wanted my daughter to experience the majesty of seeing a whale in the ocean, so we booked a whale watching tour during her break.
We coordinated with two other families who were also on spring break, so in the group of ten, half of us were children. This half-day trip was interesting, but not what I expected, and surprisingly, not all that enjoyable for grade schoolers whose attention span is still very short.
Here’s how the trip went: We boarded the ship and were given an informational briefing as we pulled out of dock. One of the naturalists on board showed us photos on what whales look like in the water, and asked us to report any sightings so that the captain could stop the ship, as well as announce what side of the deck to go to.
As the ship sailed two to four miles offshore, she gave us a short explanation of whale facts and behaviors, like the fact that the average male is 42 feet long, and the average female is 45 feet long and weighs 90,000 pounds.
The whales come to Hawaii just to raise their calves, and the moms don’t eat the entire time. After that, she set us loose to wander the decks and look for whales.
It was a beautiful, sunny day with light winds, and the ship took us around the south shore of Oahu. Unfortunately, we didn’t see one whale! We had a fantastic view of the island, though.
We adults didn’t mind standing there and enjoying the scenery, but the children – oh, well. There was some whining and nagging involved. They had cards, but then they got bored.
I guess that’s to be expected. This was a three-hour tour.
The great thing about this company is they promise you will see a whale, or they’ll give you a free coupon to return again, until you spot one. We got our return tickets, but one of the adults got so sea sick that she definitely won’t be returning.
Still, I’m not sure I want to subject myself to a bored child again! I may have to just go look for whales from shore next season.