Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gliding like a whale

While in Provincetown, we took a whale-watching trip. Up until that point, we hadn’t done anything “touristy,” hanging out with locals. We came to a quick realization – tourists are annoying obnoxious out-of-towners with no respect for anyone else or their personal space. I can totally understand why people in a tourist destination rely on them for revenue, without ever really taking a liking to them. The ugly American is annoying enough, but the ugly American on American soil is arguably worse.

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 Рdespite sounding clich̩ Рvery 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.


Jennifer said...

Skipping right over any thoughts I may have about tourists at the moment: I'M JEALOUS ABOUT THE WHALES!!!


fineartist said...

Did they sing for you?

You inspire me to get up, get out, and do something. Sadly I wont be whale watching but I will be sipping homemade wine at poolside tonight with a bunch of scantily clad nubile nymphs. That would be us, a bunch of old gals drunk from slugging down home brew in our swim suits, but it's a start, right?