Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Gliding like a whale
Even so, all of these minor annoyances faded away by the time we got to the refuge. We were about four miles out in the ocean, but the sea was like glass; a flat plane of blue that spread infinitely in all directions. It was so calm that the humpbacks were just hanging out on the surface.
I took this photo over TFN’s shoulder to show how close the boat was to the whales, who were simply lounging. We drifted up to them, and they just hung out there for a few moments, before slowly and methodically arching their backs. They stretched on forever, and then suddenly, with a small tail slap, they disappeared for 8-10 minutes before resurfacing on just the other side of the boat.
We probably saw 50 whales that day, including the humpbacks who lounged around, a ton of smaller minkes who were playing and constantly on the move and one massive finback whale – bigger than the humpbacks - who was just passing through.
To be this close to such massive animals is – despite sounding cliché – very spiritual. They are so beautiful, and so big, and yet they glide smoothly and gracefully through the water, delicate despite their size.
Being this close to them is a memory I will cherish.