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Wow… Whale Tales was incredible. The Ritz-Carlton had to keep adding chairs throughout the morning to accommodate everyone that came to Whale Tales.

It truly was a wonderful camaraderie of the research organizations and the community. That is what made Whale Tales such a successful and incredible event.

Dan R. Salden of the Hawaii Whale Research Foundation (HWRF) presented “Ocean Odyssey”, a Japanese documentary filmed in Maui by the Tokyo Broadcasting System that showcased the work of the HWRF. It served to educate the people of Japan how research can be done by observing “living” whales.

I was fortunate enough to work in the water with the Japanese film crew while documenting the behaviors of the humpback whales. It was such a thrill to be a part of a documentary that would help educate the people of Japan – it reached 20 million people (15% of the population). I was so excited to see I had a few brief appearances in the documentary.

The incredible, magnificent and beautiful humpbacks captured the hearts of the Japanese film crew. You could see the joy on their faces after each encounter with the humpbacks. It was heartwarming and many times members of the film crew hugged me as they were so moved by the experience. The award-winning actor Hideaki Ito along with the entire film crew became great ambassadors for the humpbacks back home in Japan.

Meagan Jones of Whale Trust enlightened us with some results from her long-term study of humpback whales and how female reproductive status (i.e., the presence or absence of a calf) affects female behavior patterns and interactions with males on the Hawaiian breeding grounds. Meagan’s five-year study had some surprising results.

Jim Darling showed us the relationship between the geographic distance and the similarity of the song. The talked focused on three geographic locations in the North Pacific. His long on-going study of the function of the humpback’s song is fascinating.

Flip Nicklin wowed the audience with his amazing photographs taken throughout his career as National Geographic photographer and during the research project he is an integral part of for Whale Trust. Last but not least Doug Perrine showcased his talk with a photographic journey of his travels around the world as a professional photographer.

The whole event was amazing and so glad I was involved with a whole host of volunteers that made Whale Tales a success.


Our 10th Annual Researchers Party - Time sure does fly! Every year my husband and I host a party for the researchers and volunteers from the community. It is always a lot of fun.

This year was very special as we honored a wonderful gal, Midge McGann, who has been supporting the whale research community in Maui for over 30 years. Midge has been such an inspiration to so many people and myself. I call her “M&M” for my Maui Mom. Midge hails from Pennsylvania but travels to Maui every winter. She is still photographing humpbacks – her camera is almost as big as she is. This year we celebrated her 90th birthday at our party. She was so surprised (of course, her actual birthday is June 8th). Midge was touched as she saw so many acquaintances from years past. It truly was a wonderful evening.


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