Monday, August 14, 2006

Whalewatching

Still dazed from sun and sea and wonder, I'm fresh back from whalewatching off Santa Barbara. The Condor Express sped out of the Channel, 42 miles out (twice the normal distance) and I was happy enough with the gallopping sealions, the dolphins streaming alongisde the boat, the minke whale. Finding a humpback and hanging out with it through several breathing cycles, the spume, the riding, then the fluke of the tail before it submerged for three minutes or so, was a powerful experience. Motoring further to encounter a blue whale, though - this one a year old and 65 feet long - was one of those times when you are scooped out of regular life to somewhere that is immense. It was incredibly moving to be in the creature's space for a time, us humans dotting the boat and awestruck as we bobbed upon its ocean.

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