Whaddyadoallday? Real Life on a Desert Island Rotating Header Image

Whales!!!

The best laid plans, seriously.

Michael left today for a two week lecturing circuit. I got some minor chores out of the way and had just settled down to do some writing: for this blog in fact and a couple of other articles. Rather than setting up at my desk with a view of the hibiscus plant and the hummingbird feeder, I elected to sit in the living room facing the Caribbean Sea. We’re just coming into whale season, after all. So you just never know.  In fact, I had just mentioned to Michael that I wanted to remember to bake some breakfast treats (muffins, coffee cake, that sort of thing) to freeze just in case our friends to the east happen to call us out at 6A for another spotting this year. I don’t want anyone having to leave their post in search of croissants lest they miss any major whale antics. (see Thar she blows! http://whaddyadoallday.com/?p=562 for that story.)

Anyway, Michael called from the airport in St. Maarten just to say goodbye. So I wasn’t staring at my computer screen. I was actually looking at the sea talking to him and said, “Crap, I think that’s a whale. Gotta go. I’ll call you back.” (I might have said, “I love you, bye” but I can’t say for sure.)

But I was right. There was a whale. Pretty far off towards St. Martin, but that’s still less than 5 miles maximum distance. So I got the binoculars and settled in to watch. A splash. A roll. not much. And then he breeched at least 28 times (once I started counting). I did call Michael back. And emailed frequently because it was by far the best whale sighting I have had here in Anguilla. Tail slapping galore. Breeching. Spouting. I kept thinking there had to be more than one whale out there, but I could never definitively confirm that. Never saw a tail here and a spout too far away to be attached to the tail. Never saw double of anything.

With one camera at the shop and one with a dead battery, I tried to take pictures with my phone; but that was not really working. So mostly I just watched. For 45 minutes based on the time stamps on my emails. Heck, even the osprey made an appearance flying directly through my line of binocular sight as if to say, “Hey, I’m here, too. What about me?”

Eventually, a couple of power boats must have gotten the word that there was a whale out there because they both showed up in the area. Miraculously, the whale disappeared. Pretty sly for a creature without natural predators. So I figured he’d taken a nice deep breath and was long gone. After a while the boats gave up and left. And I packed up to move back inside to get back to work.  But I took one last look over my shoulder. That’s when I realized that the whale was not, in fact, small just because it was 4 miles away, it was small because it was a baby. That became rather obvious when it’s mother shot out of the water! She was enormous! And beautiful! And far more acrobatic than her little student! She came almost completely out of the water when she breeched. She spun around in the air. She displaced mountains of water.

It was awesome and awe-inspiring….Just the two of them side by side practicing breeches and tail slaps and fluke presentations. I sure hope this was just a taste of what will turn out to be a stellar whale watching season because there are certainly worse reasons to throw your to do list right out the window!

 

 

 

 

 

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