Posted on: November 30, 2011

Get Active For the Whales: Pacific Whale Foundation to Offer Paddle and Golf Events in December

Paddlers and golfers are invited to participate in upcoming Maui Whale Festival events in December. 
 
The Maui Whale Festival is a six-month series of events in honor of Maui’s humpback whales. Sponsored by the nonprofit Pacific Whale Foundation, the Maui Whale Festival began right after Thanksgiving with Pacific Whale Foundation’s Welcome Home the Whales Celebration and will continue through mid-May. 
 
“During December, we are holding two recreational events – one for paddlers and a tournament for golfers,” says Toula Vivilakis, Events Coordinator at Pacific Whale Foundation. “Both offer a way to get outdoors, have fun, relax and support a good cause during this holiday season.”
 
Stand Up For the Whales
The first event, “Stand Up for the Whales,” takes place on Sunday, December 11.  Paddlers – including kayakers and stand up paddlers – are invited to be part of a “paddle powered pod” that will enjoy a 3.2 mile group paddle along the beautiful South Maui coast. The event starts at Haycraft Park in Ma’alaea at 8 am and ends at Kenolio Park in Kihei.  A return shuttle to Ma’alaea will be provided.
 
Paying participants will receive a free Pacific Whale Foundation rash guard and medallion, plus a refreshment and a snack, and will be entered in a drawing for door prizes. Pacific Whale Foundation will have staff monitoring the course in kayaks and the raft Ocean Freedom will be standing by to assist any paddlers who need assistance.
 
“We invite the public to join in the fun and adventure of this recreational event and learn about Pacific Whale Foundation’s ‘Be Whale Aware’ educational program for paddlers and ocean users,” says Vivilakis. “Each participant will receive one of our new waterproof stickers for their kayak or paddle board, with an eye-catching reminder message about the state and federal 100 yard law for approaches to humpback whales by all boaters, including paddlers. We want to be sure everyone understands that all vessels may not approach whales within 100 yards.”
 
The entry fee is $50 for adults; $42 for Pacific Whale Foundation Members. Youth (ages 12 – 15) are $40. Children under age 12 are free, but must be accompanied by a legal guardian (and will not receive the free rash guard.)  A parent waiver is required for participants age 13 – 18. 
 
Those who register by December 9 will save on their entry fee. The pre-event registration fee is $47 for adults, $39 for Pacific Whale Foundation Members and $37 for youth (ages 12 -15). In the interest of safety, motorized craft or swimmers are not allowed to participate. To sign up, call (808) 249-8811 ext. 1 or visit www.pacificwhale.org.
 
Golf Fore the Whales
Pacific Whale Foundation’s golf tournament, "Golf Fore the Whales” will take place on Saturday, December 17 at the Makena Beach and Golf Resort’s North Course. The tournament opens with a shotgun start at 12 noon, with a 4 person scramble. The tournament is open to all individuals or teams of four.  The event includes contests, prizes, a silent auction and a pupu reception with live entertainment at Makena’s Golf Course’s Café on the Green from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. The hole in one contests offer the opportunity to win a brand new Prius hybrid, premium golf equipment, premium electronics equipment and a men’s or women’s Seiko watch.
 
 “This is our second annual golf tournament,” says Vivilakis. “The participants last year had a fantastic time, and enjoyed the relaxed, fun atmosphere of this event.”
 
The tournament fee is $150 for Pacific Whale Foundation Members and $160 for non-members.  Register by December 9 and the fee is just $100 for Members and $130 for the general public. To sign up, please call (808) 249-8811 ext. 1 or toll-free 1-800-WHALE-1-1 ext. 1.
 
The Maui Whale Festival, which spans the weeks between November 26 and May 15 also features a fun run, free lectures, a citizens’ count of whales, “World Whale Day” (formerly Whale Day) and dozens of other special cruises and events.
 
"We want to raise awareness of the whales that come to Maui to mate, give birth and care for their calves,” says Vivilakis. “The Maui Whale Festival coincides with ‘whalewatch’ season on Maui, and celebrates the fact that Maui is the place of new beginnings for the next generation of whales.”
 
"Our goal is to inspire the public to help protect the whales and the vital, unique whale habitat encompassed by the four islands of Maui County," says Vivilakis.
For information about any of the Welcome Home the Whales events, please call Pacific Whale Foundation at (808) 249-8811 ext. 1 or visit www.mauiwhalefestival.org.  
 
Pacific Whale Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1980, dedicated to protecting whales through science and advocacy. Pacific Whale Foundation offers whalewatch cruises and other ocean ecotours to educate the public about whales and raise funds for marine research, education and conservation programs. To learn more, visit www.pacificwhale.org.