The Whalesong project

Whalesong Underwater Listening System


Whalesong is a gateway for educational and scientific study of sounds and activities of whales and other marine life. The Whalesong site feeds continuous live audio from a hydrophone (underwater microphone) in the Pacific Ocean near Maui, Hawai’i whenever the hydrophone system is active. The hydrophone is located in an area where whales and other marine life are regularly observed. Up to one hundred people can listen simultaneously to the hydrophone.

The Whalesong Audio System


“Hokumoanalani” (Star of the Heavenly Ocean) was launched on January, the 23rd 2005

The transmitter operates an omnidirectional vertically polarized signal at an effective radiated power of about 100mW on a frequency in the 2.4GHz FM band. This frequency is designated for Industrial and Scientific use in the band plan. The control operator of the beacon monitors the beacon, maintaining control of it by direct visual, radio contact, and additionally via an internet audio system. The natural environment audio which also modulates the beacon signal provides additional information for the control operator of the beacon such as conditions of the ocean waves and security of the station’s floating anchored platform. The internet portal used by the control operator for monitoring is Whalesong and the control operator have no objection to guests listening to the beacon transmissions via direct radio reception or via other means such as via Whalesong’s available audio bandwidth on a limited shared basis as streams are available.

The Whalesong project, including the radio system, hydrophone, audio feed system, web site, internet connection, floating platform, and beacon operation, was built and is operated entirely on a noncommercial volunteer basis to further the spirit of education, science, and experimentation. We hope that this work will foster better understanding and relationships with life in the undersea and surface environment of Planet Earth.

Beacon System Specifications

Location: Floating platform near Maui , Hawai’i
Beacon Frequency: 2.4 GHz FM
Power: 100 milliWatts Effective Radiated Power
Antenna: Vertically polarized dipole

The Hydrophone and Radio System


This bouy was used during the season 2003/2004

Season 2011

  • Peter Hoyt is the mastermind behind our buoy
  • He worked endless hours on Hokumoanalani back in 2005
  • Dr. Green, Dan and Peter
  • Radha with artist "Dolphin Dave" who donated this painting
  • What do whalesongs look like?
  • Getting the buoy ready to launch
  • Paulo from Portugal and Lilith from Germany
  • Interested kids at our booth on Whale Day
  • Whalesong booth
  • Vilma from Lithuania volunteered on Whale Day
  • Radha is a vital part of our project
  • Whalesong broadcast base on shore
  • This is a great day for The Whalesong Project
  • Final touches

Season 2010

  • A hui hou Ed Bigelow
  • In memory of Founding Board President Ed Bigelow
  • Dan Atreya David
  • Electronic section of the buoy
  • James Kevin and Paulo
  • Hokumoanalani
  • George Kahumoku jr. at the Whalesong Fundraiser
  • Leiohu Ryder with Maydene
  • Kevin helping launch the buoy
  • Buoy launch
  • Whalesong Project Volunteers
  • Our buoy is finally in the water
  • Launch team
  • Whale Day
  • Whalesong booth
  • Solar powered Whalesong booth
  • Kids are always fascinated by the live whale songs
  • Tsunami Day buoy rescue team
  • The Heavenly Ocean Star
  • John and crew bringing Hokumoanalani in
  • Thanks to lifeguards at Kamaole I Beach
  • Ready for maintenance

Season 2009

  • Our buoy Hokumoanalani, the 'Heavenly Ocean Star'
  • Shelly with Leanna and Sher
  • Sound check
  • Nari waving the shaka
  • Round chamber test
  • George Kahumoku jr. at the Lahainaluna Highschool
  • Samuwhale at Whale Quest Kapalua
  • Rachel from the Punahou School
  • Dan with George Kahumoku jr. and his Grammy Award
  • Kids at Whale Day listening to live whale songs
  • Young listener
  • Radha Divine and David Rothenberg helping
  • Filming for French TV
  • Dan with his bass
  • Auntie Gordean Leilehua Lee Baily
  • Whalesong benefit concert
  • Dan and David Rothenberg
  • Whalesong at Earth Day
  • Whalesong booth at Earth Day at University of Hawaii Manoa

The early stages…

  • 2000 Towing The Whalesong boat
  • 2000 Volunteer Juanita Butler
  • 2000 Whalesong boat
  • 2002 Changing batteries Markus and Kent
  • 2002 Dan and Markus
  • 2002 Dan on the local news
  • 2002 Dan with Buoy No 1
  • 2003 Markus on German radio with Andreas Dohms
  • 2003 Whalesong booth in Berlin