Enough about exhaust systems. Let’s focus on something more fun. On our recent trip to bring Galapagos home, in the middle of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, we had a tiny miracle. The humpback whales came out to wave us into our home waters! Whale watching is number one on my list of things that I could do all day long. If I see whales, it’s an excellent day. Mike knows this and because he loves me, he has developed a secret squirrel persona. No phone booths being available on boats, he slips down into the aft cabin under the guise of ‘napping’. But I know what he is really doing.
In his waking life a mild mannered programmer for a large faceless and heartless corporation, come nap time he slips into his trance of sleeping and becomes The Whale Father. From his supine position he silently calls whales in his sleep and they hear him and answer his call.
How do I know this? Reference the one time he was ALL ALONE in Commencement Bay and an entire pod of orcas surrounded him. Coincidence? I think not.
This trip Mike was taking a nap below and I was keeping watch. He arranges this so I do not bear witness to his dark magic song. All I know is that while he was resting, two humpback whales surfaced near the boat and began an underwater ballet in order to wave at us with their large pectoral fins. I called to Mike that his song had worked and he came up to commune with his brethren. It was the best whale watching trip ever! We had a good 30 minutes of pure whale fun and games before they sank into their murky depths.
At the end of the show I was tired from all the excitement.
“Melissa, why don’t you go down below and take a nap? It’s going to be a long day.”, said the man who is the Whale Father.
Go below? As if.
“But what if there are whales? You wake me up if you see whales!”. I was vexed. Because truly I did want a nap. But I wanted whales more.
“Melissa, you can’t see ALL the whales.” He was nothing if not patient and kind, eyes crinkling and twinkling like the Father Christmas of whales.
“Why not? How do you KNOW they exist if you don’t see them? Maybe they aren’t really there until you see them with the naked eye! You don’t know. That could be true. It’s possible that the whales do not actually exist until we SEE them, which means we then see ALL the whales. We do them a favor by seeing them into existence. I’m almost 100% positive that’s how it works.”
“Melissa, go take a nap.”
We like to have these little existential conversations from time to time. And, curiously, just as I had decided to go below, I saw a whale blow in the distance. What if it hadn’t been there before I looked? The mind cannot hold these possibilities for long. I took a nap.
Here are some photos, which will never, ever do the whales justice. (Photos are cropped and enlarged, making it appear the whales were closer than they actually were.)
Want to see some action shots? Here you go. It’s like you were there!