about Whales, from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

We headed out to sea in a 45′ whale-watcher boat. 43 romantics and eco-adventurers, our cameras poised, ready to see the wondrous creatures.

When we finally did, they didn’t sidle up to the boat like trained dolphins at SeaWorld. They were aloof, minding their own business, gliding up to break the water’s surface, clearing their spout with a great plume of spray, then resuming their arc back into the deep. We boatniks were crazy with joy, lunging from port to starboard to port trying to snap our patch of black against the blue sea. Hopeless with our silly little point-‘n-shoots. But we needed a souvenir, something to say we saw!

Most of my photos were of the flat blue sea. I was too enthralled with the creatures themselves to be framing a camera shot. I finally had to just stop. Think. With no land in sight, our boat was now surrounded by five or six finback whales, the second largest creatures on earth, next to the blue whale. What were they thinking about us?

Whales are intelligent creatures who have found serenity eating krill and traveling the high seas without need of cities or roads, without need for mathematics or philosophy. Maybe we humans appear to them as simply anxious, industrious but ultimately destructive swarms — like clever termites they are losing the battle against.

I did finally get a pretty good photo — a fin [below]. Ya had to be there.

dorsal fin of a finback whale seen by sbp & jgz

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