Saturday, August 6, 2011

Blue Whale Close-Up

 by Robert L. Gisel

 Some people insist they must watch whales from really close. At feet away, on a paddle board, this was just about too much for the rider.

 It is the season of krill runs off the coast of the organic health food capital of the world, Orange County, California. This has attracted a good number of whales to feast on the delicacy, not missing the fact that nothing provides Omega 3s as well as krill.

 With the whale some tens of yards off, the paddler decided he could slip into the water to get some great underwater footage. When the path of the whale takes it a dozen feet away that is evidently too scary, and the paddle boarder is back out of the water like a shot.

 It is just as well. Twelve feet from the side of an eighty foot blue whale what is there to see? A wall of blubber. Watch out for fins. When the whale dived the fluke surfaced a mere 20 feet in front of the surfer. Seems he could been swatted by the massive tail.

 Truth be known, these sea mammals are quite aware of their surroundings, very alert about people, they are not clumsy, and are not likely to step on you accidentally. They are decidedly not aggressive.

 The guidelines of the National Marine Fisheries Services declare a separation order. You are prohibited from deliberately approaching within 50 yards.of whales. Evidently, when it is other way to, the whale approaches you, you have an alibi. The best interpretation of this is that it is not Moby Dick that is of concern, rather it is the matter of offending the whales lest they change their behavior. We wouldn't think an 80 foot mammal would be so sensitive.

 Communing with cetaceans, whales, dolphins,  and porpoises, is like going to a Mensa gathering: they are very intelligent, much smarter than politicians, in fact.


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