On October 21, 2009, the first official whale sighting was reported off West Maui. (Those 45-foot, 45-ton behemoths sure like Maui.) So, I thought I'd share this footage of a whale filmed by NOAA. It's beautiful, especially because the slack key composition you hear playing was inspired by this footage. It's titled Kai Palaoa and translates from Hawaiian to English as "whale sea." A more poetic translation is "the place where two currents meet." The artist is none other than four-time Grammy Award winner Daniel Ho. His song is one of 11 on a CD--also called Kai Palaoa--that was released to raise awareness of the importance of Hawai'i's ocean resources and the need to protect them. Other artists featured on the CD include kiho'alu master Kawika Kahiapo and singer-songwriter Jack Johnson. It's a pretty fabulous CD--would make great holiday gifts. Priced at $15, Kai Palaoa can be purchased through the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Sanctuary Store, as well as at the Waikiki Aquarium, Hanauma Bay and music retailers throughout Hawaii.
For more information about Humpback whales in Hawai'i, click here. To read about my whale watching excursion in Maui last year, click here. And here is a blog post about last year's annual whale count event and another blog post about whale watching off Kaua'i. (I just now realized that I have written much about the whales, and yet I feel I have barely scratched the surface of knowledge about Humpback whales. Of course, they are a big body of knowledge.)