Friday, April 1, 2011

2 for 1 Maui Whale Watch with Boss Frog

Ever since we arrived on Maui we have noticed a big banner on the lawn of the Kihei Longs Centre. The sign says “Boss Frog’s Dive and Surf 2 for 1 whale watch. $29.95 for 2 people” We thought we would give it a try, so signed up with friends Belle, Gordon and Debbie for the 1:30 adventure. Our destination was slip 87 in Maalaea Harbour and on arrival we lined up to sign in and wait to board the vessel. Luckily for us, Marine Naturalist Katie Grove-Velasquez was on hand to tell us all about the wonderful animals we were about to see face to face. She started by telling us that whales have been her passion for the last 18 years, and it turns out that she is extremely knowledgeable on the subject. As a retired teacher I was very impressed with her presentation which included photographs, examples of real whale teeth and baleen, and a wealth of information about whales. If you haven’t already you may want to read the post Humpback Whales of Maui.
Crew members Andrea and AdamCaptain Ed
Once on board Frogman II we were introduced to Captain Ed and his crew Adam and Andrea.

Captain Ed gave us safety instructions and a heads up about the “heads”, which differ from other toilets in that you can’t throw any paper products etc. into them. He nicely volunteered crew member Andrea to fix the problem if anyone should forget. I think she preferred her other job as bar tender and assisting the passengers as needed.
Service with a Smile
Finally we left the harbor and headed out to find whales. The captain had already been tipped off by another boat, about some activity going on at a certain location. As we approached we had to stop 100 yards away from the pod, as required by Hawaii state law. Suddenly Katie called out that we had been “Mugged on Maui”, which means that the whales had decided to swim very close to our boat. This meant that we were held hostage until they decided to leave and I didn’t hear anyone complain. It turned out that the pod consisted of at least 2 male animals who were pursuing a female, so they were in angry competition.

Needless to say it was very exciting and we had front row seats to watch a breach, tail slapping, and other mating activity. I guess in whale land the females are larger than the males and they rule, so it is one big fight to see which lucky suitor will win her hand and swim away to the deep to do their thing.

Belle managed to take these awesome photos of a breach, and fluke going down.   Thankyou Belle!!!!

Finally the whales decided it was time to leave, and since some of their activity took place under water, Katie said that it was unsure if one of the male whales had won or if they were still going to continue the competition elsewhere.

On the way back to Maalaea we had another treat watching a baby whale learning to breach with Mom close at hand.

Coronula Barnacle
Once back in the harbor, Katie had yet more goodies up her sleeve, and she laid out some handouts about whales for us to take home. There was also an interesting specimen of a coronula barnacle which had been taken off a deceased humpback whale.

I would rate this whale watch very high for three reasons. Firstly the captain was very skilled and we felt confident in his hands. Secondly the crew was fun, helpful and very friendly. Thirdly having a qualified naturalist on board, giving a running commentary of everything we were seeing, made the adventure so much more meaningful than past whale watches we have been on. Oh and I forgot to add that $29.95 for 2 people is a steal for such a memorable afternoon!!!! You can find more information at the Boss Frog Website.

Marine Naturalist Katie Grove-Velasquez
Katie has been the Marine Naturalist on various whale watching vessels around Maui. Her fascination of whales also takes her to Prince Rupert and Alaska to watch and study the Hawaiian Humpback whales in their feeding grounds. We feel that Boss Frog’s is very fortunate to have her on their vessels to share her expertise with Maui visitors. Katie also confessed that she is a children’s author and is now writing a series of books centering around marine life with stories that offer life lessons while imparting true facts about the ocean and its creatures.

Why not stay in a Kihei vacation rental, and you won’t have far to go to slip 87 in Maalaea Harbor to catch Boss Frog’s 2 for 1.


  1. Thanks for your review! My parents, my wife and I, and our two kids just tried these guys out (January 2012) and had a great experience. Their naturalist was top notch, and the crew were very polite and helpful. We've been on whale watches before here on Maui as well as Kauai and Oahu, and this was by far the best. AMAZING value for the money!

  2. Great whale watch trip. Captn Allen and crew were excellent. Saw between 12 and 20 whales with a lot of action in the water.Katie explained lots about what was going on out there. Thanks guys Greg from Vancouver Wa.