Looking for whales on the south shore

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.

Our whale watching ship

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.

Some of the adults in our group.

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.

Great view!

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.

Cousins Valerie Lee and Diane Ako.

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.

Author(s) on this Post

Diane Ako

Peace of mind By Diane Ako I like to reflect on life. Sometimes it’s philosophically. Sometimes it’s humorously. For all its beauty, life is far too difficult a journey to take alone. You need the support and connection with others to help carry you along the way. Writing brings me that connection– within and without. It clarifies my thoughts and feelings. It helps me reach out to others for advice, wisdom, or feedback. Your thoughts become your actions. Your actions become you. A wise yogi- Patanjali- said, “Speak what is true. Speak what is pleasant.” Let’s speak of things pleasant to one another and seek some peace of mind along the way. ABOUT Diane Ako joined Hawaii: In Real Life in October 2016. She likes being part of a community of local bloggers – people who like writing and sharing, like she does. Ako is an anchor/ reporter at Island News (KITV4 – ABC) in Honolulu. She previously anchored and reported at KHON2 (FOX) and KHNL (NBC), and at stations in California, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. She freelance writes for NMG Network's magazines. In between news jobs, in 2017, she launched and ran her own p.r. company, Diane Ako PR. From 2010-2014, she headed the public relations department at Halekulani Corporation, which oversees luxury resort Halekulani and boutique hotel Waikiki Parc. She’s been blogging since 2009 – before Hawaii: IRL, she wrote for The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the state’s largest daily newspaper, where her stories garnered a dozen journalism awards and an Emmy nomination. Ako has a BA in Communications from Menlo College and an MA in Political Science from University of Hawaii at Manoa. She volunteers as a board member of the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation, a Shinto shrine maiden at Daijingyu Temple, a citizen-scientist studying shrimp, and a yoga teacher at a senior center.

Diane Ako has 274 posts and counting. See all posts by Diane Ako

2 thoughts on “Looking for whales on the south shore

  • November 9, 2017 at 2:40 am

    Sounds like it was a fun day.
    Use the free coupon ticket for a quick decompress from stress and everyday life cruise. It does wonders for the soul.

    • November 17, 2017 at 11:13 am

      Yes – it would be quite nice if I can do it without kids!!


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