Posted on: October 13, 2014

Maui's First Humpback Whale Sighting of 2014

Maui's first humpback whale sighting was reported today about two nautical miles offshore of Mala Wharf at approximately 12:45pm (Tuesday, October 14, 2014). The whale was spotted by the crew of Pacific Whale Foundation's Ocean Quest: Captains Ben Eisenstein and Carols Cardenas and Marine Naturalists Mark Danielson and Christy Kozama, who called in to report the sighting and also provided the photo on this page (showing Mark with the whale just right of center in the distance).
Ocean Quest was on a Lanai Snorkel and Dolphin Watch out of Lahaina Harbor at the time. Captain Carlos noticed a big splash in the water and made way towards it. Another vessel in the area, Queen's Treasure, confirmed it to be a humpback whale and reported seeing a breach and fluke up dive. Ocean Quest witnessed a "round-out" or peduncle arch in the distance. "The humpback whale appeared to be a yearling or sub-adult," said Captain Carlos.
"The migrating humpback whales do not arrive all at once," commented Greg Kaufman, Founder and Executive Director of Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF). "They begin to appear off Maui's coasts in autumn, with their numbers increasing through November and December."
Most first sightings of the season in Maui take place in October. Last year, the first humpback whale was spotted on October 5 by PWF's Ocean Voyager during a Molokini snorkel cruise. Here are the dates for previous first sightings:
October 5, 2013
October 15, 2012
October 6, 2011
October 20, 2010
October 20, 2009
October 8, 2008
October 7, 2007
October 11, 2006
November 11, 2005
October 23, 2004
October 21, 2003
November 3, 2002
October 31, 2001
September 16, 2000
September 30, 1999
October 13, 1998  
Humpback whales migrate to Hawai’i from their summer feeding area that extends from Northern California to the Bering Sea. They come to Maui's warm, relatively shallow waters to mate, give birth, and care for their young. To learn more about Hawaii’s humpback whales, download a copy of Pacific Whale Foundation’s Hawai’i Humpback Whale Guide at:
Pacific Whale Foundation will be offering guaranteed whalewatches starting November 3. If whales are not sighted during your whalewatch, you get a "Just a Fluke" coupon to go again free, anytime within one year. Pacific Whale Foundation's whalewatches also include onboard certified Marine Naturalists, a free Jr. Naturalist program for kids, and a free whale poster for each party. For reservations, call (808) 249-8811 ext. 1 or visit
You can also join us on a special Welcome Home the Whales celebration whalewatch on November 30, as well as various holiday cruises, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve. Then on January 31, you can participate in the Run & Walk for the Whales, either at Ma'alaea Harbor or virtually from your own backyard. We also hope to see you on Feburary 14 for the 35th Annual World Whale Day Festival and Parade of Whales. To learn more about these 2015 events, visit
Pacific Whale Foundation is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to protecting our oceans through science and advocacy. Profits from Pacific Whale Foundation's ocean ecotours support our research, education and conservation programs. To learn more, please visit