Jan 25, 2013

Woman Who Paddles With Whales

Me. Yep, yours truly. I'm sunburned and still feeling the motion of the ocean under my feet and I think my shoulders have disconnected from my body but I'm thrilled to proclaim that I PADDLED WITH WHALES today.  Very, very happy here tonight.

Here's how it came about: The sunrise brought calm ocean conditions so off I paddled. Once I reached the one-mile offshore location where we daily observe transiting whales, I sat down on my board to wait ... and wait ... and wait some more.  Nothing, nada, nil. For nearly an hour it was just me and the occasional sea turtle.  One other intrepid paddler floated by and asked "see anything?" to which I answered (hopefully) "not yet."  Undiscouraged  but hungry I returned to the House of Good Living for a late breakfast.

I'd put the board away, taken a shower and changed clothes when something up the coastline caught my eye.  Through binoculars I saw several groups of whales moving my direction.  I calculated that if I really really went for it, I could intercept them by the time they reached our latitude.  So ... back on went the wet swim suit and out I raced to my offshore position and .... there they were.  A mama whale and escort and calf who cavorted with 4 full breaches and another 4 or 5 spy hops.  This group was followed by three others who slowly moved across my bow, sounding, spouting, splashing and fin slapping their way south.  Keeping in mind the Federal officers who visited P after his close encounter via kayak, I kept a respectable distance and marveled at these magnificent creatures.

This was a really, really good day.

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