Maui, Hawaii

Pacific Whale Foundation Cruise

February 18, 2004

The Pacific Whale Foundation offers whale-watching cruises in Maui from both Ma'alaea Bay and Lahaina.

As we departed Ma'alaea, the western mountains of Maui were visible from the ship's stern.

The pectoral fin of a small calf cavorting in the bay some distance away. The cruise operators are required by law to remain at least 100 yards from the whales. Below, the tail fin, or fluke, of a humpback as it returns to the ocean depths.

I boarded in Ma'alaea and took the 2 hour boat trip into the bay. The pier is located off the southwestern coast of Maui in the town of Ma'alaea. Mt. Haleakala can be seen in the distance to the southeast.

Spouting is a common behavior among the whales. We also saw several "breaches" (when the whales break the surface and plunge back down), but they were hard to capture on film because they occur so suddenly.

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