Island Pages


POSTED: Sunday, February 08, 2009


”;Humpbacks of Hawaii: The Long Journey Back”;

By Paul H. Forestell and Gregory D. Kaufman
Island Heritage / $16.95
The humpback whale, Hawaii's yearly winter visitor, takes center stage with this book written by two scientists who have devoted their lives to studying these mammals.

Using knowledge culled from three decades of studying the whales in the wild, the authors take you along for a wild ride to learn about the whales and their habits.

There are sections detailing the history of the whale in Hawaii waters, their decline and slow recovery. There is also a fascinating section on the anatomy of a whale, including tidbits as to the strange nodes on their heads, and how ridges along their bodies make them more streamlined swimmers.

Why do whales do what they do? Behaviors such as breaching and breathing methods are also covered.

The book is richly illustrated with color photos. Although a bit small (the book itself is on the small side) the pictures are spectacular. There are the run-of-the-mill breach shots, but more unique are the detail photos. Shot at close range by scientists, pictures of whales staring at you with giant eyes are pretty nifty.