Watching the Whales with Peter Gabriel
"They" weren't kidding when "they" said the blue whales are hanging out in our waters. I think I last got on a whale-seeking boat about 20 years ago. If I saw one whale, I certainly don't remember it. All I know is I never went whale watching again. I remember going when I was a kid too. Again, I'm not sure that I saw any whales. So, as you can tell, I've long been over this whale watching thing. I mean, the ocean is nice and all, but not if you have to pay to just motor around looking for something you might not even see. Over it. Seriously.
Over the weekend, I got an email saying the whales were here and didn't seem to be in any rush to leave. I was all over that like skaters on coping. Two days later I was in what the naturalist called Santa Monica Bay . . . even though we weren't in Santa Monica. No matter. I wanted to see a whale or two.
You know what? "They" were right. The whales were everywhere. You'd turn your head to watch one or two whales on the right. Before you could get a good look, you'd hear water emerging from a spout to your left. I guess this excursion made up for all the times I got skunked (both as a kid and as an adult). Who knew there could be that many whales in one place? The naturalist said something about the krill, which these whales eat, being more plentiful than usual. Krill are tiny, yet there were so many of them that even we had no trouble seeing them . . . everywhere.
Peter Gabriel? Oh, he was there, but he only made an appearance on my iPod. I know . . . why would anyone take an iPod on a trip out into an ocean full of beautiful blue whales? Well, I just had an inkling that I'd need it. And I was right. Let me paint the picture for you—the folks on the deck below us polished off three bottles of champagne within about 30 minutes of us leaving the harbor. Then they proceeded to talk loudly about stupid, inane drivel for the rest of our time on the boat. They were drowning out the whales. Peter Gabriel was drowning them out. I think I was the happiest person on the top deck since I could literally tune them out. I didn't have to keep hearing the young chick say "I'm from Sydney and (fill in the blank)". The middle aged chick went on and on about how her dad was a sailor who said to eat something salty when you're seasick, thus the reason for the pretzels and Cheez Its she kept trying to give away to anyone who'd listen. Well, I wasn't listening anymore. That iPod was turned up enough to keep me from yelling at them to STFU!
Go see the whales, people. We may never see this many blue whales in our region again. I couldn't afford to go, but I went anyway . . . and it was worth it.