#1 – If you’re in Hawaii during whale season then the next time you snorkel, scuba dive, or even just free-dive under the water, listen closely as you can hear the vibrations of the whale song when they’re singing nearby. You may hear the echoes of their songs reverberating from nearby walls and in some cases, you may even be able to feel the songs vibrating through your body.
#2 – All of our whale watching boats have hydrophones on board which are essentially underwater microphones. When conditions are favorable we drop the hydrophones into the water and the whale song is broadcast live to everyone in the boat. Sometimes when they’re really close you can actually feel the vibrations through the pontoon sides of our super rafts!
#3 – If you’re not in Maui for whale season don’t despair. – Click on this link: http://www.jupiterfoundation.org and be connected to “The Juniper Foundation” and their live streaming of the whale song off the coast of Hawaii.
Hearing the whale song first hand has been described as an ‘other-worldly’ experience. Indeed, the remarkable array of creaks, groans, and moans produced by the humpback can sound like something from a sci-fi movie.
While both male and female humpbacks are able to produce sounds, only the males appear to produce organized songs with distinct themes and melodies. The song is almost always sung on breeding grounds like those off the coast of Maui and our calm waters make it an ideal location to hear it.
The males often sing while suspended deep below the surface, their long front flippers jutting rigidly from their sides. The songs can last up to 20 minutes, and can be heard more than 20 miles away. The male may repeat the same song dozens of times over several hours, and whales in the same geographic area sing in very similar “dialects.” Amazingly, the composition changes as it is being sung with all singers in a population singing the same version simultaneously at any one time.
It is still unknown why the whales produce their song. It has been suggested that the male whales may be trying to attract females, warn off other males from the area or that it’s simply just a basic form of communication.
Either way, make sure you check out at least one of the ways to hear this amazing, and so far unexplainable phenomenon. Maybe after listening to it you have some theories of your own…
The ‘Whale Trust Maui’ is a non-profit organization dedicated to scientific research and public awareness of whales and their environment. Based on the Hawaiian Island of Maui, they conduct and support marine research and education programs around Maui and elsewhere throughout the Pacific Ocean.
Maui Adventure Cruises is proud to be supporting their effort by offering 2 upcoming whale watches whose entire proceeds will go to benefit this incredible organization.
Where: Lahaina Harbor, slip #11
When: Sunday, February 16th 2014 @ 7:30am – 9:30am and
Monday, February 17th 2014 @ 10:00 – 12:00pm
Check-in 30 minutes prior to departure
Who: We’ll have an expert* on board to narrate the experience and provide the latest research findings.
*Phil Clapham, Ph.D., National Marine Mammal Laboratory, (Sunday 16th)
*Fred Sharpe Ph.D., Alaska Whale Foundation, (Monday, 17th)
Even if you’ve been whale watching before, come out again! Every experience is completely different.
If you’re here for an extended time why not take advantage of the SUPER LOW PRICE on our whale watches with the Season Pass (10 whale watches at cheaper than the child’s price!).
Call our reservations office at (808) 661.5550 and speak to one of our friendly staff for more details and to purchase tickets. Hope to see you out there soon!
If you are on Maui next week Robin Baird will be giving a public talk on Thursday February 13th on “Results from the first odontocete satellite tagging study off Maui Nui: movements of pilot whales, bottlenose dolphins and other species”, at 6:30 PM at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, at 726 S. Kihei Road. Phone: (808) 879-2818 for more information.
This photo is of a group of short-finned pilot whales taken off Lana’i during our field project there in December 2012 (photo (c) Annie Douglas)
Humu Humu Nuku Nuku Apu A A! If you were wondering it means “little fish that grunts like a pig”