Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Mighty Wind

Whales Off the Coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts, October 1998

I have seen whales many times while in the Caribbean, California and Alaska. Someday soon, I plan to see them off the coast of Hawaii as well. My favorite place for spotting whales however, is off the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts, where I try to go every couple of years. The whale watching guides there always warn you that you might not get to see whales on any given trip, yet the whales have never once failed me there. Seeing them is always an exhilarating experience.

Gloucester calls itself "America's Oldest Seaport." Besides being a quaint little fishing village, 50 miles north of Boston, it is famously known as the home of the doomed Andrea Gail, of "Perfect Storm" fame, which was lost at sea on September 28, 1991. The town has seen more than its share of sea-faring tragedy, however, and commemorates its lost fishermen with its famous "Man at the Wheel" statue.

A Word to the Wise: Have you ever smelled a whale's breath? Peow! Pew! Peow-wow-wow-wow! If you have ever smelled a cute little kitten's horrendous breath after a nice, wet fishy meal, imagine that multiplied by a factor of 9,000! The horror! A Humpback Whale can weigh as much as 45 tons while my 6 year-old tabby weighs in at 10lbs. You do the math. You've been warned.

Can anybody tell me what kind of whales are in this picture?
Wind on the Water
Lyrics by Graham Nash
Over the years you have been hunted
by the men who threw harpoons
And in the long run he will kill you
just to feed the pets we raise,
put the flowers in your vase
and make the lipstick for your face.
Over the years you swam the ocean
Following feelings of your own
Now you are washed up on the shoreline
I can see your body lie
It’s a shame you have to die
to put the shadow on our eye
Maybe we'll go
Maybe we'll disappear
It's not that we don't know
It's just that we don't want to care.
Under the bridges
Over the foam
Wind on the water
Carry me home

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