Yesteday, I did something I've always wanted to do, but never actually got up the gumption to drop the cash and check it off my life's activity list. We went whale watching. My brothers were in town, and my little brother is awesome at rallying large groups of people to do various activities. Yesterday, we boarded a boat in search of blue whales.
I'm not a big boating fan. I went deep sea fishing in fourth grade, and for me, seasickness makes morning sickness feel like a walk in the park. I fully anticipated that yesterday's excursion would 1. Make me puke and 2. Cost me loads of money without ever seeing a whale.
I was wrong. A little Dramamine and an on-board Marine Biologist did the trick. It was an overcast day, so spotting the whales was a bit tougher than usual. (You look for spouting water out of their blowholes). After sailing 11 miles off the coast, we happened upon a blue whale.
The Marine Biologist mentioned she had seen this whale earlier in the day. She whipped out her cell phone, and using it as a timer, mentioned that this whale happened to surface almost every seven minutes. I love predictable marine life! Every seven minutes, for the next hour, we would scan the horizon, looking for tell tale blow holes. You'd see some water squirt five feet into the air, and a rounded grey (not blue!) hump of the whale's back breach the surface. He/she (hard to tell the gender unless you can get intimate with a blue whale, and since they are the largest mammal on earth and roughly 110 feet long, that can be kind of hard to do) would hang around, blowing up water every few minutes, until it decided to dive down into the 800 feet depths of ocean and eat more krill.
We always knew when it would take a deep dive because it would raise it's tail into the air- like my own personal "Free Willie" trailer or something.
It was really cool. Really, really cool. However, no matter how cool it was, it still freaked me out that I had my 2 kids, both under the age of five and not strong swimmers, on a boat in the ocean 11 miles offshore, without life jackets on. (They only put them on in case of an emergency). Not to mention that we were stalking the largest mammal on Earth- and this whale was almost 2xs as long as the boat we were on. The biologist did make the mistake of telling me how trippy it is when you can feel the whale moving underneath the boat. I clutched their little hands for the entire trip- as did my husband until he finally caved in to his non-Dramamine experience and crashed on a bench in a fit of nausea.
Now that I think of it- it may not have been the seasickness that felled my hubby. I was the only one on board to ask the biologist if she "spoke" whale, and then did my best Dory impersonation from "Finding Nemo". Luckily, she told me that it's virtually impossible for our sound to penetrate the water and have the whale hear it. She knows this because some goofy, California new age harpist hired her to take him out on a cruise so he could play his harp for the whales. She kept telling him that they would have a hard time appreciating his music. So, for those keeping track with my goofy California references?
1. Grocery store checker goes into great detail about the moon driving menstruation calendars.
2. I am bidding on a house tomorrow that was founded by nudists.
3. There is a local harpist that composes music specifically for an audience of whales.
I knew I loved it here.