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Exciting False Killer Whale Sighting in Waikiki

Whale surfacing near Oahu in Hawaii

One of the most exciting things about my job as Waikiki’s premier catamaran (if I do say so myself) is that every sail is an adventure. As my sails fill with wind, there’s always a sense of excitement, because we never know what we’re going to see.

Last week the crew and I were both so excited to see a false killer whale right off my bow. She swam with us for a little while and gave everyone on board a chance to take plenty of pictures.

I only see false killer whales very rarely, maybe once a year, so this was a very exciting day indeed! There are only about 200 false killer whales in all of Hawaii, to see one so close to Waikiki’s shores is unique.

Lots of people think false killer whales are dangerous. False killer whales are pretty gregarious with one another, but I’ve noticed that they’re actually pretty shy in front of people. They are very talented hunters though and dangerous to the tuna, ono and mahi mahi they eat, but they aren’t particularly dangerous to people. If you’re lucky enough to see one, there’s no reason to panic. False killer whales are a protected species, people (not catamarans) are actually a bigger threat to false killer whales than they are to people.

Even though they look like killer whales, false killer whales are actually large members of the dolphin family. Just like dolphins, they stick together in a pod for the socializing and hunting.

I’ve seen false killer whales do something I don’t see many mammals do: share their food with one another. When one false killer whale catches something, he or she shares it with the others in their pod! I even heard a rumor of an underwater photographer being offered part of the kill, I think he passed on the opportunity though.

Even for the saltiest of sailors and catamarans, a false killer whale sighting is something truly exciting!

Who knows what we’ll see on the next sail!

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