Maui divers encounter huge pod of humpback whales (video)

Imagine stumbling upon a huge pod of humpback whales.  John says he thinks he can even hear the whale song in the back of this video — does anyone else hear it, is it possible to actually hear something like that under these conditions?

Divers in Hawaii are really making me jealous these days.  I loved the recent video we posted of the dolphin apparently seeking help from divers near Kona (if you haven’t watched that one do — it’s gone quite viral, and with good reason).  And now this, from Maui.

I had tears of joy just watching these divers, knowing how exciting it must have been to see so many whales swimming overhead. Lucky them! It’s hysterical when one of the divers looks up and says “holy sh*t!” — because that’s what I was thinking.

The closest experience to this that I had was on a simple snorkeling trip in Mozambique, where the boat would follow dolphins and we’d jump in and watch them swim by. That was fun, but then I heard some noise from others in the group, looked down, and noticed a whale shark swimming right underneath. Everything looks larger when you’re underwater and even knowing that, the mouth of the whale shark was enormous and took my breath away.

Here are a few stills from the video (which is below).

Humpback whales while diving.

Encountering humpback whales by chance while diving. Just imagine!

Two humpback whales in Maui.

Two humpback whales in Maui.

One of these days I’m still hoping to scrounge up the money and head for the Dominican Republic to see the whales up close. If you missed these photos before, check them out.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • NioOnMaui
  • http://www.facebook.com/MaryMcCulley Mary McCulley

    Yes, heard the whales in the video. I’ve been diving in Maui and could hear the whales underwater, singing, grunting…my whole body would vibrate when they rumbled!! It was amazing!! Saw lots on the surface but not underwater…I would have flipped!!! This is awesome, thanks for posting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Teresa-Wagner/100001347450054 Teresa Wagner

    Yes, those were whale sounds and songs. What a fabulous experience!

  • NioOnMaui

    oh and easiest, BEST, but occasionally a little scary, way to see the whales is by Kayak or stand up paddle boarding. AMAZING! no dive equipment required!

  • NioOnMaui

    First, they likely didn’t really “stumble” on the pod…they are EVERYWHERE right now! :) They migrate from Alaskan waters every year to calve and mate. The adults will not eat the entire time they are in Hawaiian waters. They come to the relatively calm and protected waters to have their babies and we are incredibly fortunate to hear the building cacophony of whale song as the birthings continue through March and April. In as early as late September some years you can hear the first solo songs starting. by March it will be an unbelievable symphony underwater. It’s actually kind of shocking the first time you hear it.

    And watching the adults teach the calves how to communicate through tail flaps and propelling themselves almost out of the water is an incredible thing to see and HEAR happen, even from the shore.

    The chatter, clicking sounds another poster has heard are the dolphins.. luck live/visit Hawaii!l

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    You totally misunderstood. I think. I didn’t think the whales would be disturbed by the divers. I just wanted to hear the whales, and I couldn’t in places where they were talking. No, I didn’t expect them to think they shouldn’t talk, because someday, some dude in Minnesota may want to listen to the whales. So many of my wishes don’t come true. If they did, Hugh Jackman would be in my bed right now, and I sure wouldn’t be sitting here.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    That’s still very cool. I did not surf in DC this morning :)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    That’s very cool, I never knew it was something one could actually hear, unassisted as it were.

  • themervino

    I am hearing many different voices with my headphones on. Some clicking. Some with a kind of moaning sound and some with more like a dolphin kind of whistle. It seems they are chatting with each other

  • hoplite_i

    While it didn’t come close to something like this, we saw a whale while surfing this morning. About 15 yards outside of us. Socal,

  • stealthwater

    Well the truth is had they been on Open Circuit you would never have heard them. This is beauty of Rebreathers you can hear true human emotion underwater as it is truly silent.

    Resonate some understanding this is not normal. And so what if squealing it makes it HUMAN and the fact the whales made multiple passes means they were not at all “scared or intimidated by it”

  • Jack S

    You are correct, John. I’ve stood on the beach in Maui and watched a pod of at least 5 whales swim by very fast, cavorting as they went. Their squeals and cries were clearly audible on shore.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    I think John is correct. I could hear it. In fact, I really wanted to tell the divers to STFU. My husband always said I had bat hearing.

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