November to early May is whale watching season in Hawaii. February – March is the peak.
I was excited to have a new iPhone 5s safely tucked into a new Lifeproof case, held by a Lifeproof armband to take out onto the water. I thought I might get a shot or two. The excitement had however, just begun. When we exited Kukui’ula Small Boat Harbor and headed out into the ocean, we almost immediately encountered a pod of whales, accompanied by some dolphins. It was a spectacular sight as they broke water in front of us. We made sure not to get too close, but we were close enough to hear them breathe.
It is illegal to approach a humpback whale in Hawaii within 100 yards, whether you are on a boat, swimming, windsurfing or kayaking.
We were riding in tandem (2-man) Hobie Mirage ocean going kayaks. To be exact it was Hobie Mirage Tandem Island model but without the outrigger ama floats attached. The Club at Kukui’ula’s Island Pursuits also uses these for sail kayaking so that’s why they have them. There were 4 kayaks, including 2 staff from Island Pursuits. These kayaks feel very stable when you are accustomed to going out on a 1-man or even 6-man outrigger canoe. You have the option of paddling but these canoes are primarily moved with high tech peddles. The person in the rear steers. Ray was steering.
This video is 1 minute 45 seconds long. I didn’t edit it so there is a bit of waiting in between surfacing but this way you can share my experience. You can hear us peddling and then stopping to make sure we didn’t get too close. You can definitely hear the whales breathing.
For those of you who are confused between an OC-1 (one-man outrigger canoe) and a kayak, here I am on an OC-1. You also get a good view of the Lifeproof armband and iPhone case set-up. I was happy to find the armband is quite comfortable and gives easy access to the phone.
Todd Barron and Andrew DalPorto had just arrived on Kauai and had a wonderful time. I was glad that I was able to get some photos and video of them for them. Great memories for them.
Turns out that our guide, Dan, from Island Pursuits has outfitted his entire family with Lifeproof cases. He’s a big fan. I forgot to ask him to take photos of Ray and I in our canoe. Of course, he was focused on getting shots of whales. Something to consider when you do something like this. Get a few shots of yourself as part of your memorabilia.