Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF) invites the public to participate in its Wild Dolphin Days celebration on Maui on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 7 and 8.
This annual event honors the wild dolphins that live free in Maui County’s waters, and celebrates the Maui County law, passed in 2002, which banned the public display of captive whales and dolphins.
“We’re very fortunate that wild spinner, spotted and bottlenose dolphins inhabit Maui County waters, and can be seen and studied near the coasts of Maui and Lāna‘i,” said PWF Executive Director Tracy Jones. “The people of Maui County are committed to protecting wild dolphins, which is why we are one of the few locations in the world to have a law that prohibits the display of captive whales and dolphins.”
On Saturday, PWF will host its annual Wild Dolphin Sand Sculpture Contest.
Photo: Pacific Whale Foundation
On Saturday, PWF will host its annual Wild Dolphin Sand Sculpture Contest, which will take place at the north end of Keawakapu Beach in South Kīhei from 9 to 11 a.m. The contest is free and open to everyone. Judging will follow immediately and prize winners will be announced at approximately 11:45.
Sculptures can be created by individuals, families or groups. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: Best Overall Entry by a Family or Group, Best Individual or Group Kids Entry (for kids 12 and under only), Most Realistic Dolphin, Most Creative Entry and Funniest Entry.
The winner for Best Overall Entry by a Family or Group will receive passes for a family of four for PWF’s Wild Dolphin Encounter Cruise, a three-hour adventure focused on watching the wild dolphins that inhabit Lāna‘i’s surrounding coastal waters. Winners in other categories will receive dolphin-themed prizes from PWF’s Ocean Store.
All participants will receive a free wild dolphin guide from Pacific Whale Foundation and a free wild dolphin poster.
Free registration will be held on the morning of the contest at the north end of Kewakapu Beach near the Mana Kai Resort off South Kīhei Road.
Bring your own buckets, shovels and sculpting tools. PWF will have a limited number of tools available for participants to use.
On Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon from Lahaina Harbor, there will be a VIP Wild Dolphin Watch cruise led by Kristen Jule, Ph.D., the lead researcher on PWF’s 2010 Odontocete Project. The project studies wild dolphins and toothed whales found off the coasts of Lāna‘i and Maui. This cruise is a great opportunity to learn about this research and some of its intriguing discoveries. Dolphin sightings are guaranteed on this three-hour eco-adventure, or you go again free. Passengers will receive a free wild dolphin guide and free dolphin poster. There will be a 10 percent discount for anyone who participated in the Wild Dolphin Sand Sculpture Contest, held the day prior. Pacific Whale Foundation Members save 20 percent off the retail rate.
Check-in is at PWF’s Ocean Store at 612 Front Street in Lahaina (across from Banyan Tree Park). For reservations, call 249-8811, ext. 1, or visit www.pacificwhale.org and click on “ecotours” and “dolphin cruises.”