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Event to celebrate maritime history, Polynesian voyaging and whales

By Staff | Feb 14, 2013

Explore and discover marine mammal exhibits in the Whalers Village Museum Walking Tour.

KAANAPALI – For the first time in more than a decade, fascinating marine mammal exhibits will see daylight once again.

The Estate of James Campbell commissioned exhibit designers to create fascinating scientific displays about various whale species when it funded and built the Whalers Village Museum in 1984.

Most astonishing is the unexpected furry, four-legged carnivorous land ancestor resembling a wolf with hooves, explaining the evolution of whales from land animals and the transition from land to sea.

These remarkable 13 exhibits had been in storage long before General Growth Properties purchased Whalers Village in 2005.

Wayne and Laurie Nunez, who manage and operate the Whalers Village Museum, made the discovery. They were encouraged by Corinne Arquero, the center’s general manager, to offer the public an interactive, educational, family activity.

The free Whalers Village Marine Mammal Exhibit Walking Tour begins this weekend and is part of a free three-day event on Feb. 15-17.

Whalers Village will host “Oceanology Experience 2013” to bring awareness to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

Slated in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and sanctuary, the event will highlight sanctuary speakers and celebrate the launch of the Hawaii National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

Half of all donations to the national foundation are from Hawaii. Having a local chapter means fundraising dollars generated here will support local sanctuary educational and outreach programs.

The schedule for Friday, Feb. 15, includes a lei-making class from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at center stage; free Sanctuary Whale Talks at 11 a.m., noon, 1 and 2 p.m. in the Whalers Village Museum; “The Ancient Art of Gyotaku Fish Printing” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at center stage; the presentation “Maui Manta Rays” with Dr. Mark Deakos, executive director and chief scientist at the Hawaii Association for Marine Education and Research Inc., at 2 p.m. in the Whalers Village Museum; Chef’s Tasting Menu at Hula Grill Restaurant from 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. (a portion of the proceeds from each meal sold all three nights will benefit the Hawaii National Marine Sanctuary Foundation); and a screening of “In the Wake of Giants” with Ed Lyman, manager of NOAA’s Marine Mammal Response Team, at center stage from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

“In the Wake of Giants” follows the sanctuary’s whale rescue efforts with their trained network of partners to disentangle humpback whales trapped in ropes and fishing nets. Much of the footage showing the dangerous nature of these rescues was filmed within arm’s reach of the distressed mammals from helmet-mounted cameras.

Events lined up for Saturday, Feb. 16, include Ocean Arts & Crafts from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at center stage; “Secrets of Humpback Whale Mating” with Elia Herman, co-manager of the Hawaii sanctuary, in the Whalers Village Museum at 11 a.m.; “Learning Ukulele” with Daniel Ho, six-time Grammy Award-winning producer, singer-songwriter and musician, in the Whalers Village Museum Theater at 12:30 p.m.; Sanctuary Whale Talks at 2 p.m. in the Whalers Village Museum; Polynesian Hula Show from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at center stage; “Music Under the Stars” with Daniel Ho from 7:30 to 8:15 p.m. at center stage; and “Navigating the Stars” with Nainoa Thompson, Native Hawaiian navigator and executive director of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, from 8:15 to 9 p.m. at center stage.

Thompson will discuss Hokule’a’s Worldwide Voyage launch in June 2013. The core message is to malama (care for) Island Earth – our natural environment, children and all humankind.

The lineup for Sunday, Feb. 17, includes “Marine Photography 101” with John O’Leary in the Whalers Village Museum from 11 a.m. to noon; Sanctuary Whale Talks at 11 a.m., noon, 1 and 2 p.m. in the Whalers Village Museum; Ocean Arts & Crafts at center stage from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; “Humpback Keikis” with Dr. Rachel Cartwright of California State University, Channel Islands, in the Whalers Village Museum at 2 p.m.; music from 6 to 7 p.m. at center stage; and “Discovering Shipwrecks” with Dr. James Delgado, director of NOAA’s Maritime Heritage Program, at center stage.

Tour maps are available at all Whalers Village stores. Each week, a free prize will be awarded to an eligible winner.

For information, visit www.whalersmuseum.com or call 661-5992.