The Singing Whales are Back!

The Singing Whales are Back!


Kutira Decosterd

Welcome to Maui, the capital of whale adventure in the Hawaiian Islands and the winter home of the fascinating humpback whales. By February the flow of migrating humpbacks has increased to its maximum and  it is the best time to explore the giant mystical beings of the ocean.

Besides the magical touch and wonder they bring into our lives it is believed that the length of the Hawaiian humpback whale migration (round trip) is about 6000 miles and most likely takes about 6 weeks for one way. Most humpbacks are 35 – 45 feet in length and weight about one ton per foot. The humpback mother gives birth to 14 foot, 2 ton calves, early in the year. Gestation is 11 or 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 of 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 determined that humpbacks reach at least 58 years old.

All humpback whales make some type of social sounds, associated with feeding and socially active 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 humpback 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. Go and watch the acrobatic humpbacks engage in breaching, tail slapping and pec-slapping. It is an unforgettable experience. Learn about their behaviors 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.