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Whale Watching near Maui

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Once in a while, you had this eruption where forty foot of animal comes throwing itself out of the water, tail and all -- and you can't even remember your name. Humpback whales come to Hawaii -- they come a month without eating from Alaska. And they are not feeding while they are here. So you are looking at animals that are mating, they are having calves, they are playing in the calm waters, but they are not chasing food. We are right on a breakwater, next to Lahaina harbor. That's our home. But where we were is out here in the Auau Channel, between Lanai, Kahoolawe, Molokai, maybe the best place to look at whales in the world. We have a big shallow area that's usually pretty calm. And it's great place for whales. They like those shallows. And it's protective. Each individual whale will have a completely different tail, just like their fingerprint, and that's how we can compare individuals, and that's how we identify individual whales. The whale song is the most complex animal song there is. If you were to record one here, one in the Philippines, one in Mexico..... at any time of the year, the song would be essentially the same. So it's evolving all the time, but it's evolving all through the ocean basin. How they do that -- we have no idea. The same thing that makes this a tremendous place for doing research also makes it a wonderful place to come and look at whales as a visitor. For whale watching, the best time of year is January, February, March, and into April..... You're to stay a hundred yards away from the whales. It doesn't mean the whales can't come up to you, and they routinely do. But you shouldn't approach a whale within a hundred yards. The population of humpback whales that visit Hawaii probably doubled in the last decade. There may never have been a better time to come here than right now. It's 40 tons, 45 -- 50 feet long. So powerful, but also so benign and so gentle, they represent wildness, and they represent mystery. They represent hope. That's a special animal.

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 26 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: GoHawaiiTV
Director: GoHawaiiTV
Views: 105
Posted by: greenbo on Feb 3, 2010

Whale researchers tell about the whales near Maui, Hawaii

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