On January 7th, our 48 guests boarded Trilogy with extreme excitement for our first Blue‘Aina of 2018 - a recurring trip that has become such a crowd favorite that it sold out months in advance! Sponsored by Trilogy, their donation was made for the second year in a row to the Whale Trust Maui, a local non-profit organization. Our food for the day was graciously donated by CJ’s Deli & Diner.
For this month's trip, we departed on a scientific (humpback) Whale Watch, with the added bonus of esteemed company. Both Ralph Pace and Whale Trust co-founder, Flip Nicklin, boarded the vessel along with our volunteers, serving as representatives for the organization.
Whale Trust Maui, Co-Founder
Flip, who is widely regarded as the premier whale photographer of the world, is an accomplished contributer to National Geographic, and has more than 5,500 dives in his repertoire. He helped to co-found the Whale Trust Maui in 2001, along with Meagan Jones and Jim Darling, under the shared belief that scientific research truly lies at the heart of meaningful marine life education and conservation programs.
Ralph Pace is a freelance underwater and environmental photographer. With his graduate degree in Marine Conservation, he uses his educational know-how to help interpret and simplify scientific messages through photography and art. Ralph has worked with many non-profit organizations and environmental companies world-wide. His images have been published by National Geographic, Smithsonian, Discover, and dozens of other reputable organizations.
Underwater & Environmental Photographer
Our donation recipient, Whale Trust Maui, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research and public awareness of whales and their environment - so we knew we had to tailored our day's events accordingly! In a bit of a departure from our typical Blue'Aina reef cleanup done IN the water, this trip was focused on advancing our personal knowledge and understanding of the beloved Humpback Whales. In turn, we would end our trip armed with the knowledge to truly understand the lifecycles and habitats of these mammals, and thus know how best to protect them. But of course, we always must malama 'aina!* So prior to boarding our amazing Trilogy catamaran, all our volunteers also conducted a land-based trash cleanup of the beautiful and bustling Lahaina Harbor!
*malama'aina: to care for and live in harmony with the land, so that it can better sustain life
Our volunteers then spent the next two and a half hours enjoying almost every active whale behavior pattern, thanks to our friends of the sea. Right from the start, we saw over 11 consecutive breaches from a sub-adult whale and from there... well, we weren't disappointed. Multiple peduncle throws and pectoral fin slaps later, we all agreed that the humpback whales put on a great show for us.
As if the whale show wasn't spectacular enough, our volunteers and Trilogy crew members were beyond excited to spend our trip talking story with Ralph and Flip, Maui’s local celebrities. Happy to oblige, they answered our plethora of questions all morning long. Guests were delighted as they enjoyed a delicious homemade vegan menu, donated by CJ’s Deli and Diner. CJ’s is well known within our local community for providing delicious food and supporting many local organizations and events.
January's Blue'Aina was truly special, and we were so happy to welcome all our guests aboard for this amazing day. We can't wait for our next event day!
If you're interested in joining us on our next trip, our 2018 Blue’Aina calendar is now posted on our website. Make sure to reserve your spot in advancee have a fantastic lineup organized this year.
January's Blue'Aina was truly special, and we were so happy to welcome all our guests aboard for this amazing day. We can't wait for our February event!
If you're interested in joining us on our next trip, our 2018 Blue’Aina calendar is now posted on our website. Make sure to reserve your spot in advance - we have a fantastic lineup organized this year!