How Sacred are our Hawaiian Waters?
Last week I went with Dr. John C. Lilly to a county hearing on support for a whale sanctuary around all the Hawaiian Islands. What a meeting! Most of the room was filled with commercial business owners and fishermen. Throughout the evening there was this energy in the air of money, greed and fear of the government telling our local people what to do. Environmentalists related in great details how much our ocean is depleting. I felt helpless, drowned in the ignorance of all these greedy business oriented people.
Whatever we managed to say in the allowed 3 minutes, it seemed insuffient to open their eyes to a future that takes into account the Native American law that our actions have to be guided by wisdom, so that it will affect the next seven generations with no harm! Will our children still be able to walk along the sea shore in a healthy environment? Are our children’s children still able to see the spout of a whale and the jumping into the air of dolphins? Are we going to have the great privilege to see a healthy turtle gently swimming beside us? Many turtles found these days have tumors on their heads. Don’t we have the consciousness to protect our ocean, our earth, our environment?
The whales are back. This is my l0th anniversary of being in the presence of these giant beings. I am also very fortunate to have my great friend and mentor, Dr. John C. Lilly to play with each winter season in the ocean. Together we educate the participants in our Whale Adventures in Consciousness. We sail, swim together and free-float in the entrancing sound of the whales, explore dolphin undulation and enter the world of inter-species communication.
By February the flow of migrating humpbacks will have increased to its maximum. This is the best time to explore these giant mystical beings of the ocean.
Besides the magical touch and wonder they bring into our lives, it is believed that the distance of the Hawaiian humpback whale migration (round trip) is about 6000 miles and most likely takes about 6 weeks for one leg. Most humpbacks are 35 – 45 feet in length and weigh about one ton per foot. The humpback mother gives birth to 14 feet, 2 ton calves, early in the year. Gestation is 11 to 12 months. Calves are conceived in Hawaiian waters, then birthed here in the following January or February. The calves gain weight at the rate of 100 pounds a day and nurse for 8-12 months. The whale milk is 40-50% fat. Sexual maturity for humpback whales of either sex is as early as 4 years. Humpbacks breeding strategy is polygamous; a male or female will mate with more than one partner of the opposite sex during a given breeding season.
Age can be determined by the wax plug in the ear canal. These wax rings have shown that humpbacks reach an age at least 58 years.
All humpback whales make some type of social sounds, associated with feeding and socially activity in groups. Certain male humpbacks are solitary singers, the source of the whale song that carries for up to l5 miles under water. A singing whale typically stays down for l5 minutes and then surfaces within 200 yards of its last surfaced location. A humpback whale song is composed of a series of notes or units. A unit is the shortest sound noticeable to the human ear.
A series of units is a phrase. A consecutive group of phrases make up a theme. A predictable series of themes forms a song. The entire song is maybe 20 minutes long. It is often sung over and over for hours. All the male humpbacks in a certain area sing the same song. And during their 6-month season every aspect of their song slowly changes. Themes drop out and new ones appear, yet all the whales learn these changes.
Take some time off this year and visit these incredible creatures, which are still in danger of extinction, chased and hunted to death and in need of a sanctuary. Go and watch the acrobatic humpbacks engage in breaching, tail slapping and pec-slapping. It is an unforgettable experience. Learn about their behavior and how you can help save the whales. Create your magical mystery connection and tap into the vast wisdom of the ocean. Free float in the entrancing sound of a whale. Allow yourself to attune with body, heart and mind; and become synchronized with the oneness that exists in all.
Dr. Lilly said to me “Maui, the home of the Cetacean Nation is in the center of the Pacific and surrounded by whales and dolphins. Their energies lead to creation below our levels of conscious awareness. Therefor creative people are attracted to Maui and carry out creative interaction with one another and trough the internet they can communicate these ideas to the rest of the world.”
Well, let us communicate that the whole world has to become a sanctuary, where we all can feel safe.
Kutira Décosterd is a Naturalist and founder of the Kahua Hawaiian Institute and Oceanic Tantra. With special guest Dr. John C. Lilly, she leads Whale Adventure in Consciousness, a shamanic ocean excursion in the Hawaiian waters of Maui. Kutira & Raphael’s new CD “The Calling” is dedicated to the “Cetacean Nation” and Dr. John Lilly, who also performs on the album. Special thanks for whale facts to Naturalist Ed Ellsworth.
Suggested reading: The Oceanic Society Field Guide to the
HumpbackWhale: by Hannah Bernard & Michele Morris