Give Us Some Tail – Humpback Whales

Early-Morning-SailThe beautiful morning started at 5am…

to meet the whale watching boat for a 6:30am sunrise tour launch. The whale off in the distance waves a fin “hi” to all below. I enlarged it so you can see.

Whale-Waving-FinIn the gallery below, we motored our way out to meet a raft owned by Pacific Whale Foundation already entertaining the whales. We turned to look back at a colorful rainbow in the direction in which we came. The whales just loved this small boat and the passengers likely took a shower from the whale spray.

Our boat was very far from all the activity by the raft, but pushed forward. The whales were very interested in the small yellow raft, but when we got there, the whales decided to leave. We turned around to where the whale pod headed. For a bit, it looked like whales were avoiding our loud motor, preferring the quiet raft.

Many whales were spouting when we finally turned off the engine and floated.

Whale-SpoutWhales were breaching further out near other whale boats. The three images of the breaching whales in the post were taken with my P510 last year in Maui. This year, they were too far away to photograph. In the gallery below, you can see how far by the giant splash of one, and that was taken with the D750 and a 300mm lens. I found the 28-300mm lens could not get the full image when prostrate swimming whales were too close to our boat. I have a few images with a half a whale.

Whale BreachWe got lucky and the whales were interested in our boat. They swam under the boat repeatedly. Our boat was to be one hundred yards away from the whales, but if they swam to us, that was allowed. Maui has 75 percent of the whales that come to the Hawaiian Islands for winter. The captain has to shut down the engines and cannot leave until the whales move on from our boat.

Whale-spoutingIt is surmised the whales come to the tropics to protect the newborn calves from the Orcas and sharks that would eat the youngsters. The whales return to their feeding grounds in the coastal waters of Alaska, mothers with newborn calves last to leave in May. We were visiting at peak time for seeing whales.


The whale might be feeding its young. They remain out of the water for an extended period and the baby can be seen in the water below. It is light blue/green in the water to the left.

Like last year when I took a whale watch tour, we were told that the whales are not feeding while in Hawaii and living off fat reserves. A trip on Pacific Whale Foundation’s boats are both educational and fun.

Whale-EmergingIf you ever get an opportunity to see these majestic creatures, jump on it. You will be delighted.

Whale-Feeding-YoungSee you later.


The whales raise a tail.

Back to the dock.

PassengersHappy passengers. Boats ready to sail…

Trilogy-Tour-BoatNext scheduled post is a pretty look at sunsets and night shots of the moon right after sunset. A bit different…


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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17 Responses to Give Us Some Tail – Humpback Whales

  1. swo8 says:

    What a wonderful experience, Donna.

  2. Gorgeous photos…They are such spectacular creatures, I have never been able to find the words to describe or explain the feelings they create.

  3. alesiablogs says:

    Makes my heart melt thinkung about those whales on our boat excursion last year.

  4. You are so fortunate to have experienced these amazing creatures. Thank you for sharing your breathtaking photos.

  5. What great pictures. That must have really been something to see!

  6. Maria F. says:

    How impressive they must be. Thanks for sharing these photos!

  7. aussiebirder says:

    Beautiful footage Donna! I love whale watches, that was the reason I bought my first digital SLR camera. We have Humpbacks pass here, and they look very similar.

  8. That must have been spectacular, but I think I would be a little intimidated to be in a boat that isn’t any bigger than the whale!

  9. Les says:

    I’ve only been once, and it was like being near God.

  10. Denzil says:

    Wow. Deeply impressive photos. Would love to see whales up so close.

  11. I can imagine the excitement seeing those magnificent beings up close!

  12. I am delighted! Such beautiful creatures …. So interesting to learn more about the whales and their behaviour and to know the reason for their stay close to the Hawaiian Islands. I didn’t know that Maui has 75 percent of these whales!
    I enjoyed your post very much and your photos are gorgous, Donna!

  13. debsgarden says:

    Marvelous photos! I took a whale watch tour once when I was in Oregon. We only saw whales from the distance. But then, when we were back on land, we were treated to the sight of whales who were swimming close to the rocks below a lookout we visited. It is fascinating that the whales you saw in Hawaii were interested in the boats.

  14. Amazing. We have gone on a couple of whale watching boats but have generally been disappointed. I’m reluctant to keep trying because of my tendency to get seasick. Even so, I would love to see these big creatures with my own eyes.

  15. Karen says:

    Isn’t it nice that you’ve gotten to enjoy these wonderful creatures more than once. Nice photos!

  16. Absolutely amazing. I love the idea that it’s ok if the whale comes to you! What I find amazing is that whales will do that and do not tip the boats up!

  17. At the top of my list is whale watching…I have been thwarted by weather a few times now….so maybe one day. I agree…amazing!

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