Welcome whales

KEALIA — Every year January, gentle giants return to the waters around Kauai and this year Kohola Leo is hosting its seventh annual “Welcome the Whales” ceremony from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan 15.

“Whales are some of the largest and oldest inhabitants of Earth,” said Gordon LaBedz, of Kohola Leo. “They, like humans, breathe air, deliver live births, nurse their young and raise and train them to be adults. Whales are sentient and intelligent beings that have a brain as large and complex as ours.”

The public event is at the bluff at Kealia Lookout, just outside of Kapaa. People are encouraged to bring musical instruments, songs, poetry and stories of their encounters with cetaceans.

The humpback whales travel from Alaska to Hawaii every winter to give birth to their young, sing, mate and play. They spend about four to five months in the waters around Hawaii before returning to Alaska.

Last year, about 50 people attended the Welcome the Whales ceremony at the Kealia Lookout and the whales put on a show for them.

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