Essential Guidelines To Follow While Watching Whales In Lahaina

During the winter, humpback whales travel to Hawaii to breed. Every spring, humpback whales migrate to Alaska from their breeding grounds by swimming nonstop for 6 to 8 weeks. As per recent trends, the best time to see humpback whales is from May to July, with most of them moving south to warmer waters in October. Whale watching is an exciting activity that lets visitors observe some of the largest animals on Earth in their natural habitat. Knowing what to expect and preparing for the lahaina whale watching will make the trip successful.

Observing behavior

It is essential to take precautions and check the area before entering or exiting waters where whales are present. If a pod is present, one must keep an eye out for any changes in behavior that could be a sign of danger. It is recommended to leave the area as soon as possible if any sudden changes in their swimming pattern occur, such as tail slapping or mothers covering their calves with their bodies.

Keeping distance

Even though some whales will approach boats to see who is in their area, it is best to keep a distance. Staying at least 100 yards away is a fair rule of thumb for all whales, and in lahaina whale watching, it’s mandatory for humpback whales. Federal regulations call for a 500-yard buffer zone around North Atlantic right whales. One must stop immediately and steer the boat away if a whale approaches too closely. The motor should be kept running and maintained in neutral gear until the whale passes.

Taking it slow

High-speed open-water cruising can be thrilling and exciting, but it is against the protection of the marine ecosystem. Boaters should slow their speed to less than 10 knots when passing whales, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Ship strikes have been the main reason for more and more whale stranding and deaths over the past ten years.

Limiting Watch Time

While it is tempting to spend hours watching these magnificent creatures, it can be disturbing to the whales. The presence and noise of the boat can hamper them from looking for food, socializing with others, and even breeding. Some whales may even change their migratory routes due to noise pollution. Keeping watching to no more than 30 minutes is a simple guideline.

No feeding or swimming

Swimming with whales is not only dangerous, but it can provoke them to change their normal behavior. Wild creatures can be unpredictable, and an ordinary human can’t compete with a beast that weighs several tonnes. Touching them can transmit severe diseases, while feeding them can make them sick or reliant on people for food.


These are the general guidelines to follow while lahaina whale watching. For the final takeaway, the best technique to greet whales is to parallel them while keeping a safe distance between them. One must stay out of their way and never try to cut them off. Also, while nearing the coast, the visitors must not prevent the whales’ access to deeper water.