Monday, December 24, 2012

        Wishing you  Mele Kalikimaka

         The Wonderful Whales of Maui

Yep its that time of year again. Time for the mighty Humpback Whales to return to Maui. Did you know that the whales migrate 3,000 miles from their feeding grounds in Alaska, in as few as 36 days?  Humpback whales are baleen whales. They expand their pleated throats, take in huge amounts of water and krill and then push the water out through their baleen. The krill remains.

In early whaling days the baleen was much prized in the making of ladies corsets. The blubber was used to make lipstick and candles. In the 1970's The International Whaling Commission voted for a moratorium on whaling. However as late as the 1980's NASA was still using Sperm Whale Oil for use in it's rockets, as it is the purest oil in the world.  Ambergris otherwise known as 'Sperm Whale Poop' is worth thousands in the perfume industry. Perhaps you might be lucky enough to stumble onto some on your next beach walk. Sperm whales also have the largest brain on the planet and the largest penis known to man:)

Well getting back to Humpback Whales...... while here they sing whalesongs. Each season all the male singers sing the same song. It is believed by some scientists that the end note of the song of each season is the beginning note for the song of the next season. Isn't that fantastic! A question could be asked whether any of the songs of previous seasons are repeated. We don't know, as we do not have enough recorded data.While in Maui the Humpback Whales also give birth and mate but do not feed. They only feed in their summer feeding grounds in Alaska. 

The whale's return to Maui, approximately December to April, coincides with the traditional Hawaiian period called Makahiki. Makahiki celebrates the return of the God Lono. Lono is the god of rain, thunder, harvest. During this period the native Hawaiians ceased, farming, fishing and making war. Instead they mended their
nets, played competitive games like outrigger canoeing and spear throwing. They also feasted, sang, danced and presumably stayed home and made love....... Just like the whales......

                    Hau'oli Makahiki Hou.