One of the best parts of winter in Maui is the return of koloha, or humpback whales! West Maui offers spectacular views of the Auau Channel, a humpback breeding ground that’s nestled between the islands of Maui, Lanai, Kahoolawe and Molokai. From December until May, residents and visitors can catch these gentle giants slapping their tails, blowing spouts from their blowholes, and sometimes even breaching from the sea! Best part is? You don’t need to have a boat to observe these magical creatures. You can see them from the shore along your electric bike ride! Simply pull over, put your kickstand down, and scan the horizon.
North Pacific Humpback whales feed in Alaska during the summer then travel over 3500 miles to Hawaii and other southern regions to mate and give birth in more shallow, warmer waters. They can complete this long journey in as little as 28 days! These massive creatures can grow as long as 60ft, as wide as 18ft, and can weigh more than 80,000 pounds. They live 80 - 90 years old.
When the commercial whaling industry reduced the humpback’s population by an estimated 95%, the species was listed as protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1973. The kohola has slowly made a recovery, and we're fortunate to be able to witness their comeback here in Hawaii year over year.
TIME TO GET RIDING!