homepage logo

Big crowds expected at tenth annual Whale Tales

By Staff | Feb 4, 2016

KAPALUA – Humpback whales, some 10,000 who visit Maui waters annually, will have their life stories told by some of the world’s leading whale researchers during four days of special events held expressly for the public starting Feb. 12 at the tenth annual Whale Tales.

Presented by the nonprofit Whale Trust Maui at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua and extending to Lahaina Harbor, the event from Feb. 12-15 will include whale talks, whale watches and an Art Expo.

Through films, unique underwater photography and lively presentations, the public will be able to get better acquainted with these mammoth creatures of the deep, including their journey here from Alaska, how they birth and care for their young, and how they communicate with each other along the West Maui coast.

Sandwiched between a book signing by Chuck Nicklin, who has filmed whales for 60 years, and a Sunday showing of an IMAX film with spectacular images of whales in West Maui, will be talk story presentations by more than a dozen top whale scientists.

Visitors and residents who marvel at the antics of whales – but may not know much about them – will get the latest first-hand information at the event, and have opportunities to network with world-renowned personalities in whale research.

The public can also board special whale watch sails with top scientists, who can offer insights not found on typical commercial tours.

Top international scientists, photographers, filmmakers and conservationists are gathering for Whale Tales. The event has attracted over 10,000 whale enthusiasts since 2006 and raised over $430,000 to date for whale research around Hawaii.

Presentations are free and open to the public on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua; however, a suggested $20 per day donation is suggested to support Whale Tales’ beneficiaries.

Benefit whale watches with the experts and ocean activities (snorkeling, canoe and kayak trips) are held throughout the weekend, with morning whale watches daily and excursions all day on Presidents’ Day on Monday, Feb. 15. All proceeds from the weekend’s activities support whale research happening here on Maui.

“Supporting our colleagues to fulfill their mission is our way of giving back,” said Dr. Meagan Jones Gray, Whale Trust Maui executive director.

“We hope to exceed the nearly $70,000 we allocated last year to our beneficiaries. If we meet this goal, Whale Tales will have given back over $500,000 in the last ten years to whale research in Hawaii.”

Event highlights include the Maui premiere of the new IMAX film “Humpback Whales,” which was filmed largely on Maui and features several research groups, including Whale Trust Maui. This is the only chance to see this film on Maui.

New research highlighting the long-term social relationships that humpback whales form in feeding grounds (30-plus years) and new insights into the relationships of individual whales from Alaska and Hawaii will be discussed.

See footage of recently published research illustrating humpback whales guarding seals and other species from attacks by killer whales.

Explore new research looking at how the humpback whale song travels and changes over space and time – across the Pacific Ocean – from the Philippines and Japan to Hawaii to Mexico.

Enjoy a retrospective of the career of Emmy Award-winning underwater cinematographer and photographer Chuck Nicklin, accompanying the release of his new book, “Camera Man,” which details his 60-plus-year career in underwater photography, diving and filmmaking.

Additional highlights include Susan Casey sharing stories from her new book, “Voices in the Ocean;” new revelations about how recovering humpback populations are affecting the environment; and new research into the history of whaling in Hawaiian waters.

Whale Trust Maui is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to whale research and education.

Whale Tales 2016 sponsorship packages and VIP passes include premium seating, private reception tickets and a complimentary whale watch with Flip Nicklin ($500 and above). Other whale watches can be purchased in advance at www.whaletrust.org or by calling (808) 572-5700.

For more information, visit www.whaletrust.org. The Whale Tales 2016 Facebook event page at www.facebook.com/events/965187936860396/ features the latest updates.