The whales have arrived!
I paddle three times a week with my fellow Kupuna (Hawaiian for grandparent) paddlers, as we are called by the club, although many are much younger. We all belong to the Kawaihae Canoe Club. Usually, we take out three to four 6 man canoes, depending on how many people arrive, and we leave the Kawaihae harbor about 6:00 AM. Our course is usually determined by how strong the trade winds are blowing.
Most days we head 3-4 miles south along the breakwater, crossing Kawaihae Bay to a lovely little beach called Maumae. There we swim and socialize for awhile, and then paddle back to the harbor. Some days, if the winds are too strong, we paddle north along the beautiful Kohala Coast for about 3-1/2 miles going as far as Kohala Waterfront.
Yesterday morning, we all decided to paddle out to see if we could find some humpback whales. This is the time of year they start arriving from Alaska for their annual Hawaiian winter vacation. After considerable paddling we had no luck and turned for home. Then someone shouted â€œlook at 11 oâ€™clock on the horizon.â€ Everyone turned and cheered.
Two miles away we could see a pod of three or four whales spouting and thrashing about. As we headed for home, I realized this was my first sighting of the season, and there would be many more in the days ahead.
If whale watching is your thing, the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii from Puako in the south, crossing the great Kawaihae Bay, and going north along the North Kohala Coast, offers some of the very best whale watching in all of Hawaii. Until my next sightingâ€¦
Aloha from the best island, the Big Island of Hawaii!