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Volunteers Have Whale of a Time!

January 26, 2013
NOAA 2013 Sanctuary Ocean Count Volunteers watching humpback whales this morning at Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site on the Big Island of Hawaii. (NPS)

NOAA 2013 Sanctuary Ocean Count Volunteers watching humpback whales this morning at Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site on the Big Island of Hawaii. (NPS)

The following photos and videos were taken this morning at Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, where over 45 volunteers and park visitors gathered to take part in the 2013 Sanctuary Ocean Count (Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, NOAA). The park is one of more than sixty such sites scattered throughout the Hawaiian Islands where volunteers help monitor humpback whales. The next volunteer events for this year will be on the last Saturday of February and March.

In addition to counting humpback whales, volunteers were also on the lookout for other marine life...like a pod of spinner dolphins that came by this morning. (NPS)

In addition to counting humpback whales, volunteers were also on the lookout for other marine life…like a pod of spinner dolphins that came by today. (NPS)

A whale watching tour boat passes by one of several humpback whales that today's volunteers saw "logging" (i.e. laying on the surface of the water for long periods of time). (NPS)

A whale watching tour boat passes by one of several humpback whales that today’s volunteers saw “logging” (i.e. laying on the surface of the water for long periods of time). (NPS)

Binoculars sure came in handy today...the VOG (volcanic pollution) was pretty bad. (NPS)

Binoculars sure came in handy today…the VOG (volcanic pollution) was pretty bad. (NPS)

Panoramic view from Pu'ukohola (literally translated as "Whale Hill"). (NPS)

Panoramic view from Pu’ukohola (literally translated as “Whale Hill”). (NPS)

Forty-six people showed up at the park for this event. (NPS)

Forty-six people showed up at the park for this event…breaking last year’s record. Way to go! (NPS)

This community project is made possible by many dedicated volunteers...like Amy! (NPS)

This community project is made possible by many dedicated volunteers…like Amy, one of the project’s site leaders! (NPS)

Do you want to experience Hawaii’s Humpback Whales for yourself? You can listen to them sing LIVE via a hydrophone located just south of where these photos and videos were taken:  Listen to Hawaii’s Humpback Whales Sing LIVE

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