Whale Quest 2014 - Courtesy Whale Trust copyKAPALUA—Humpback whales, some 10,000 who visit Maui and patrol Kaanapali Beach annually, will have their life stories told by some of the world’s leading whale researchers during four days of special events over the weekend at the 10th annual Whale Tales the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua.

Through films, unique underwater photography and lively presentations the public will be able to get better acquainted with these mammoth creatures of the deep, including their journey here from Alaska, how they birth and care for their young and how they communicate with each other along the West Maui coast.

The non-profit Whale Trust Maui will kick off the special events with an appearance by Chuck Nicklin, father of award-winning photographer and co founder of Whale Trust Maui Flip Nicklin.

Attendees will be able to talk story with NIcklin during a signing of his new book “On Camera” from 2 to 5:30 p.m Friday. Nicklin first came to Maui to shoot whales 40 years ago and has been a cinemaphotographer for many Hollywood movies.

Also on hand to talk story will be Whale Trust Co co-founder Jim Darling who made headlines recently with his discovery of mysterious whale sounds barely audible to the human ear.

Other top researchers who will be giving presentations and talking story on whale watches include Dr. Fred Sharpe, Alaska Whale Foundation; Ed Lyman, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary; Kenneth O Brian, Alaska Whale Foundation; Dr. Jonathan Stern, San Francisco State University; Olga von Ziegesar of Eye of the Whale and Merra Howe, University of Hawaii Manoa, Oceanwide Science Institute.

In addition to the prominent speakers, another highlight will be the premier and only Maui showing of a much heralded I-Max film with spectacular images of whales in Maui waters at the Ritz at 3:30 p.m. Sunday..

Visitors and residents will be able to mingle with the experts and hear about the antics of whales and learn about the their annual journey from Alaska to the Kaanapali area, how they birth and take care of thier young and how they communicate through “whale songs.”

One session will include a talk about a discovery how large number of whales come to the defense of other whales and even seals under attack by killer whales

Attendance is free but a donation to Whale Trust to support research is suggested. Whale Watches with top researchers on board will offer insights on whales will be available for a fee.

Whale Tales is hosted annually by Whale Trust Maui, a non-profit dedicated to whale research and education. Funds raised at Whale Tales support whale research efforts in the Hawaiian Islands.

Research led by Whale Trust Maui scientists has been featured in documentaries on the BBC, the Discovery Channel, National Geographic International, National Public Radio, theToday show, PBS, NHK (Japanese National Broadcasting).

Meagan Jones Gray who co-founded Whale Trust with Flip NIcklin and Jim Darling studies the birthing habits of whales and teaches a course in marine biology at UH in Kahului. She and colleagues are working on establishing a marine biology curriculum.

Contact Whale Trust Maui at info@whaletrust.org or 808-572-5700 and visit WhaleTrustMaui.org for a schedule of activities, sponsorship information, and program updates.

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