Whale Shark Sighted

Photo by Joshua Lambus

Whale Sharks are the Largest fish on the planet and are reported to reach a length up to 60 ft and possibly 100 ,000 lbs.Their name can be confusing, Is it a Shark or a Whale? great question, It’s actually a species of shark and like sharks they do not have lungs they have gills but this species does not have teeth and it’s as big as a whale! In my 30 years playing and working at sea i’ve had the pleasure to spend time with a Whale Shark only once and that was in 1994 just outside Kawaihae Harbor south where Kohala Blue operates our sailing charters on the Kohala Coast.

It was during the filming of the movie Waterworld Starring Kevin Costner in 1994. This Whale Shark was about 35′ in length, I was Captain on a very small boat and unknowingly to me something from behind lifted the back of the boat gently up! I was shocked when I turned around to see this massive animal,The whale shark gently lowered the boat, I jumped in the water with my mask and we just drifted together for about 10 minutes looking at each other, I gently slid along the head and gently grabbed the Massive dorsal fin and stroked the side of the animal with my other arm and it stopped all motion, went vertical and really seemed to like the attention and even seemed to quiver a bit , myself  needing air, I let go, swam back to the boat and explained the special encounter to my crew who was completely terrified.

Whale shark sightings in Hawaii are extremely rare. They do inhabit the world’s oceans in the warmer areas. A few days ago Robin Baird with Cascadia Research Collective sighted a whale shark during its Hawaii Island Pseudo Orca Research Project in West Hawaii, working out of Kawaihae, Hawaii,I was excited to hear about this sighting. The the next day our crew Kassandra tells me her friend Joshua Lambus saw a Whale Shark off Red Hill just a few Miles from Kawaihae,where Kohala Blue Sails from!

Were Running a Sailing /Whale Watching Tour in the morning and i’m so excited about the prospect of seeing a Whale, Humpback or Shark, we will be Stoked with either one for sure!The Awesomeness of what we do and share with people is that we just never know what were going to experience on any given day out there on the ocean. See YOU on the water soon!

Capt. Steve

Next day Update:11/11/18 We didn’t have any sightings of whales or whale Sharks on this sail but we did have the pleasure to spend time with 2 different pods of spinner dolphins,a small resting group of about 20 large mature spinner dolphins and then to the north a large pod of maybe 75 with a mix of juveniles,calves and mature adults moving rapidly towards Kawaihae Harbor,figured they were likely just coming in from the nights hunt in deeper waters.

It was awesome!

Capt. Steve


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Nick Kern