Kona Whale Watching Excursion
It’s 12:09pm and there is no boat. As I look over at the Body Glove Cruises sign it indicates the next boat is at 7:30am. Since we know that we were scheduled for around noon time today, a short quick little panic goes through our mind as we wonder if we missed the boat. Then I realize that the sign is probably from this morning’s excursion and they didn’t change the sign. That sort of thing happens here in Hawaii. We’re on Hawaii time here. I check with others around me and confirm we are simply early for the 12:30pm whale watching adventure.
Sitting here at Kona Bay I look across the bay and up the hill to cloud covered Hualālai mountain. Paddle boarders play and paddle around the bay in front of me. You can tell who is a newbie and who has done it before by their posture. Various boats tied up to their moorings jostle and sway with the motion of the water. As you watch the motion and the water you feel a relaxing sense of calm as the excitement gives way to gratitude. Gratitude for the opportunity to be in Hawaii. Gratitude to be going to see the mammoth whales and their babies. This is the birth place of whales. They journey every winter from Alaska waters to the happy warm waters of Hawaii to calve their baby whales before sojourning back. I sit with relaxed anticipation as the boat arrives and our fellow adventurers board the boat. I will talk to you again once settled in on board.
Now settled, we are off to the south. A sister boat sighted whales about 5 miles away earlier. On the way there the onboard naturalist Denver shares with us some of his knowledge of what defines a whale, how they are similar and different from porpoise, dolphins, sharks, and humans. Many preconceived notions misguided from half remembered truths are dispelled by the clarity of true knowledge. Denver moved to Hawaii over 30 years ago and has been with Body Glove tours for 17 years. His knowledge is wide and deep. Everyone found him engaging and entertaining.
After about 20 minutes of riding in the boat someone spots a whale spout off on the horizon and we make a b-line for it. We quickly find a mother and her 2-3 week old calf. We know the approximate age by the color of the youngling’s skin. They start out light, almost baby blue, and darken quickly to a deeper blue. We hangout, eat snacks, people drink, we take lots of pictures and video, and enjoy the time spent with the whales. When it is time to return, with hesitance we turn and leave mother and calf to spend some good quality time together. On the return trip we are blessed with a bonus as we come across a pod of spinner dolphins. Denver shares details of this species as we all take more pictures and video.
At last our time has come to an end and we cruise into Kona Bay harbor. As we dock and at the pier we glance over our shoulder grateful for this experience and for the fact that we took advantage of playing local tourist.