KAPALUA - Renowned scientists, photographers, filmmakers and conservationists are coming together for presentations, whale watches, two films, a live auction and an education/art expo at the 11th annual Whale Tales event.
The international whale research organization Whale Trust Maui invites the public to the event at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua on Feb. 24-27.
Presentations are free and open to the public on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons at The Ritz-Carlton. A $20 per day donation is encouraged to support Whale Tales' beneficiaries.
The 11th annual Whale Tales event will feature an education/art expo and whale watches with experts. PHOTOS BY BRYAN BERKOWITZ/WHALE TRUST MAUI.
More than 15,000 people have attended the event since 2006 and contributed more than $500,000 to whale research around Hawaii.
Ocean activities are slated this week, and the Education and Art Expo runs throughout the weekend, featuring hands-on learning opportunities with local nonprofit organizations, marine photography and art displays, and showcases from local businesses.
Benefit whale watches with the experts are held throughout the weekend, with daily whale watches each morning and all day on Monday, Feb. 27. Tickets start at $30 per person for whale watches and ocean activities. For specific information and to book your tickets, visit www.whaletales.org.
On Thursday, Feb. 23, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., Stand Up for Whales is set. This guided stand-up paddle tour will be hosted by Jodelle Fitzwater and Miranda Camp and sponsored by Raw Elements.
On Friday, Feb. 24, the Education and Art Expo will be held from 1 to 5 p.m., and presentations are slated at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua from 2 to 4:30 p.m.
The lineup on Saturday, Feb. 25, includes benefit whale watches with the experts from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Education and Art Expo from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., and presentations and a book signing with Dr. Robin Baird from 1:30 to 5 p.m.
Baird's new book is "The Lives of Hawai'i's Dolphins and Whales," delving into how and what researchers have learned about the 11 species that live in the oasis of the Hawaiian Islands, including acoustics, photo-identification, genetics and satellite tagging.
On Sunday, Feb. 26, benefit whale watches with the experts will be held from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m., and the Education and Art Expo will run from noon to 5:30 p.m.
MacGillivray Freeman Films will present the movie "Humpback Whales" from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. The movie was filmed largely on Maui and features several research groups, including Whale Trust Maui.
Next, presentations and a book signing with Dr. Hal Whitehead will be held from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Whitehead shares how whales and dolphins, like humans, learn behavior from one another.
The Maui premiere of "National Parks Adventure," presented by MacGillivray Freeman Films, is set for 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Whale Tales will conclude on Monday, Feb. 27, with benefit whale watches from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
This year's presenters are Baird of the Cascadia Research Collective; Rachel Cartwright of The Keiki Kohola Project; Denise Herzing of the Wild Dolphin Project; Anke Kuegler of the University of Hawaii at Manoa; Ed Lyman of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary; Greg MacGillivray of MacGillivray Freeman Films; Ralph Pace, freelance underwater photographer; Daniel Palacios of the Marine Mammal Institute; Robert Pitman of the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service; and Whitehead, joining Dr. Jim Darling, Dr. Meagan Jones Gray, Flip Nicklin and Jason Sturgis of Whale Trust Maui.
Whale Tales is hosted annually by Whale Trust Maui, a nonprofit dedicated to whale research and education.
This year's presenting sponsors include Makana Aloha Foundation, MacGillivray Freeman Films/One World One Ocean, Pacific Life Foundation, Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, Bendon Family Foundation, and Mark and Judy Ellman and their Mala, Honu and Frida's restaurants.
For more information, visit www.whaletales.org.