Return of the Whale

November 19, 2019

From roughly October to May of each year, Timbers Kauai – Ocean Club & Residences offers Owners and guests a front-row seat to one of the Pacific Ocean’s most awe-inspiring spectacles: The return of the humpback whales.

From the residential lanais, Hualani’s Restaurant, the infinity pool and beyond, gazers will often discern spouts on the horizon, as well as the occasional fin flaps. Breaching is rare but not unheard of. 

To honor the massive mammals, we’ve compiled a brief history of the humpback whale in Hawaii and the best ways to get an up-close-and-personal view of the gentle giants. 

A Whale’s Tale
Each winter, about 10,000 humpback whales make the 3,000-mile journey from off the coasts of Alaska back to the warmer, predator-free waters of Hawaii. 

Since Hawaii is the only place in the United States where humpback whales calve and nurse their young, their annual return is considered by many locals to be a homecoming.  Known as kohola in Hawaiian, whales have a storied history in the islands’ culture—and are believed by some to be divine in nature.

Beyond the islands, the promise of whale watching lures visitors to Kauai—most promisingly from January through March during peak season—to capture views of their unique and playful behavior.

For example, from the residential lanais at Timbers Kauai—as well as any Pacific-facing area of the property—the whales become a backdrop to daily activity. Viewers can discern tail flaps and spouts in the distance. Or, from the observation deck, telescopes allow a zoomed-in view of all the oceanic ruckus.

Get Closer
If the telescopes are not sufficient to satiate your curiosity, the resort recommends a whale-watching excursion with Capt Andy’s Sailing Adventures.  Whether on a first-class yacht or decked-out catamaran, you can get much closer to the whales further out to sea. 

From there, one might catch a mother and calf breaking the surface or a Kodak-moment breach—a behavior whose cause has yet to be conclusively determined.  The humpback whales remain a beautiful mystery of the seas.

Please contact your Concierge for assistance setting up your whale-watching tour.