The Captains Log
For a Healthy Planet
Gulf oil spill and Whales
World Oceans Day - Ocean of Life
The theme of Ocean Day this year is "Ocean of Life." Never has the importance of protecting the oceans seemed more important than this very day. Oil streams into the Gulf of Mexico, toxic plastic gyres are growing, ice caps are melting, the ban on commercial whaling may be lifted with support from Washington D.C.
Whalesong Project Board Member George Kahumoku honored
I am pleased to report that Whalesong Project Founding Board Member George Kahumoku was honored with the "Aloha Is" Award for community service at the annual Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards ceremony in Honolulu. He was recognized "for his support of individuals and entities ranging from dropout students and Maui Community Correctional Center inmates cultivating taro in Waiehu to work with Maui Nui Botanical Gardens and the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge." Read the full article
Those of us who know George know that he never stops. He is an enduring presence in the world, not just on Maui. He has nurtured young Hawaiian students to become Grammy Awards winners, worked with "at risk" youth for decades, volunteered for countless fund raisers. Sometimes you could fill a page with his activities in just one day. Congratulations George! You deserve it.
At the same ceremony Mauiʻs Hula Honeys won the best Hawaiian Jazz Album of the Year. Jonathan Drechsler, the bass player, volunteers for Whalesong Project! Congratulations Jonathan - and Ginger and Robin.
The Mystery of Pu'u Koholā
As we approach the 200th anniversary of the unification of the Hawaiian Islands, much attention is focused on Pu'u Koholā. It was here that Kamehameha built this large heiau before his unification quest. Some call it the "hill of the whale" and some say it resembles a whale. Some have suggested that perhaps the Koholā, the Hawaiian Humpback Whale, was an ʻaumakua of King Kamehameha. Others give a different explanation for the name. Koholā can also mean "chosen day," and there was a belief that the prophesies around Kamehameha and the unification of the islands required consecration of this heiau on a particular day. Hawaiian language and mythology is is filled with kaona, hidden meaning, metaphor. It is possible the name means both. Another puzzling fact: One of Kamehamehaʻs names is Paiʻea. Those of you who watched the movie Whale Rider may recall that the Maori prophet who rode the whale was Paikea, which is how one would say Paiʻea in Maori. Paikea was said to have come from Hawaiki, Hawaiʻi. We may never know the full mystery of this possible connection between Kamehameha The Great and the whales.
How to lessen sonar impact on whales
My personal opinion is that there has not been much emphasis on data collection. My observation is that most whales who strand themselves in Hawai'i are not evaluated for acoustic trauma. Without data, without the scientific method applied, we are in the dark.
I am doing necessary post-whale season travel. I'm happy to report we were able to produce another season of bringing the live whale songs to the world, and to participate at a number of events, and to move our sustainability project, Haleakala Institute, forward. I'm sorry to report that we have depleted our financial resources. Our all-volunteer team greatly appreciates the heartfelt financial contributions that help keep our website, webcast, essential services alive. Thank you!
Whalesong Project Season 10 Complete
Aloha Everyone! Whalesong Project Season 10 of webcasting the live songs of Mauiʻs Koholā has come to an end. The whales are mostly gone now, and itʻs been about a week since I have heard any singing. The buoy lost its mooring this morning. Fortunately our diligent lifeguards at Kamaole I Beach called us and brought her safely to shore. They have been keeping a close eye on her for the last 9 seasons, since we moved to Kamaole I after completing our first season at Maʻalaea Bay. Here they are shown loading the buoy into our truck.
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