Saturday, June 23, 2007

Call Me Ishmael

Yesterday Belly and I went on a whale watching trip with a group of homeschoolers. It was organized through the Family Resource Center which plans field trips for our ilk and, with the group rate, was a great deal for us. Belly is only six but was really excited to see a whale, so we spent the days leading up to our excursion reading books about whales and watching videos about ocean creatures.

Our trip was managed by The Yankee Fleet out of Gloucester, and our boat left the harbor promptly at 1:30pm. We had bright sunshine, a warm breeze and a giant black thundercloud slowly following from behind.

To say that we 'had some weatha' is downplaying it a bit. We had everything but snow and frogs falling from the sky. When the sun was out, it was lovely. When the sun hid behind a cloud, we all reached for our jackets. We watched the city of Boston, a tiny row of small buildings in the distance, engulfed in a haze of black and gray, with flashes of lightening every few moments. Seeing a thunderstorm off in the distance is very cool. Seeing a thunderstorm coming closer and closer to your seafaring vessel is not very cool.

I cursed myself for ever watching The Perfect Storm (where the heck was MY George Clooney when I needed him?!?!). Fortunately, Belly inherited my stomach of steel, and the waves did not make us seasick.

The rain started as a light shower. As it picked up, my beloved, smart, clairvoyant daughter said she wanted to go downstairs to the enclosed area to buy a snack. No sooner had we gotten under cover than the skies opened up. The rain came down hard, and people out on deck scrambled to get underneath something.

Then, "ping!, ping!, ping!" It was hail. I looked anxiously at all the other homeschooling families around me and hoped they wouldn't start asking who the non-Christian was on board since we were clearly being punished for the sins of one.

The captain made a quick u-turn and got the heck out of dodge. The hail and rain left us alone, and we made it back safely.

Oh. . .yes. . .I forgot something, didn't I? After all, we were on a whale watch. And, yes, we saw a whole bunch of whales. It was thrilling to see such giant creatures so close to our boat. We saw a bunch of Humpbacks, two Fin whale and a couple of Minkes.

The problem with a story about a whale watch, though, is that the photos fail to capture even one-fifth of the excitement and coolness of it all. I mean, can you really get excited over this?

And, how about this shot? I think the whale had just gone on a dive.

Oh, but I did get a little tail. Can you ooooo and ahhhhh for me? What, you can't see the tail?!?! It is that little black line sticking out of the water.

And here is momma and daughter, post-whale sighting but pre-hail.

For you, my dear, I will go to the ends of the earth, or at least a few miles out to sea. Stay tuned for our next big adventure.


Whirlwind said...

Yesterday's weather was very odd (but typical New England weather for you). We went to Southwick's and I was glad for all the tree's they kept us fairly dry from the sudden downpours we had.

margalit said...

Whale watching is one of my all time favorite things to do. We try to go at least once a year. I used to go through Capt'n Blacks in Newburyport, but then I discovered the boat at Rowe's Wharf run by the science museum. Those guys are such experts and the ride is just amazing. I've seen huge pods of humpbacks with them, and the whales perform perfectly, breaching and doing all sorts of funny things. It's just the most amazing thing, isn't it?

Mrs. Chicky said...

I think it sounds great, weather and all. I've been on one whale watch in my life, at 16, and couldn't truly appreciate it at the time because I was an obnoxious teenager. I can't wait until my kid is old enough to enjoy a trip like yours.

Major Bedhead said...

I've only been on one whale watch. It was out of P-town and the weather was great until we got however far out they go. Then it was 15 foot swells and me, hanging over the edge, feeding the fish. When the captain started to sing the Gilligan's Island theme over the PA system, I got worried.

I'd love to go on another one, one without the swells and the wiseass captain.

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

almhml said...

Thank you very much

Rock the Cradle said...

Someday, I will do this. Someday, when I know the Impling will not be feeding the whales over the side of the boat.

I want the memories you have. I want to see a creature that vast up close.

It must have been amazing.