Saturday

Look What I Got For Mother's Day

Most mothers get flowers, candy and cards. Some even get treated to a meal they did not have to cook. Me? I went for the big kahuna and wrangled my way onto this baby to chase whales. Then it started raining. But the folks at Stagnaro Charter Boats assured us that if it wasn't safe, they would be home in bed.

We saw these guys on our way out of the harbor. They didn't seem too worried about the weather. So neither was I. After all, I was wearing layers. Many, many layers.

Of course RD came with me. What Mother's Day would be complete without your favorite mother maker? He may have been thinking of the last time I got him on a boat to chase whales. Who knew seasick pills make you pass out when you take them on an empty stomach? Not me. I'm wiser now. No pills on this trip. Maybe he's thinking big thoughts. Ocean air, rocking horse waves and sunshine. Yep, definitely conducive to big thoughts.

I'm not having big thoughts here. This is my, "I can't believe you let me talk you into this after the last disaster on a whale watching boat. By the way. Did you know how much I love you right now?" Look! Is that a whale?

I admit to getting prematurely excited. It's not everyday I see a red buoy with a sea lion necklace. Apparently, it's not every day they see a skinny woman, wearing every thing she owns.

I really wanted to see a whale up close. My whale picture from the last trip looks like a half eaten worm on a fishing line. I wanted a better picture. I wanted to see a whale eyeball to eyeball. Then a humpback whale came up right beside the boat. What was I thinking? They're bigger than elephants! I don't weigh 150 lbs if I'm wet and in multiple layers. They swim. I don't. They're hungry. Lord, please tell me I don't look like a rubber worm right now!

And he just kept coming. I don't know why I say "he." This could just as easily be a "she." The thing is, I'd done research on humpback whales and this was just his/her back. There was a heck of a lot more whale under water. My mind flashed back to the buoy of sea lions. Was I smarter than a sea lion? Were they trying to tell me something by clinging to a buoy 8 miles back? Nah....

Then we saw this. Let me explain in my best scientific jargon. This is a humpback whale swimming towards our boat. He/she is blowing air out of his/her blowhole while propelling itself through the water with it's tail. Suddenly it smelled like 20 dogs, passing wind all at the same time. A few of us on board may have looked around to see who was dying. The Captain chuckled. Then introduced us to "whale breath."

Then the Captain said that his equipment showed the whales were under our boat. I had an odd emotional moment as I started thinking of such a big animal underneath our boat. I'd just watched them diving, tail slapping, blowing, but hadn't seen any eyes yet. Were they able to see well? Could they, for example, see a boat load of people floating over them, as they surfaced? Were they playful? What would that mean, running into a playful humpback in the wild? I looked at RD. He was scanning the water around the boat. So was everyone else. I was calculating how many miles I had to dog paddle back to shore. That's when I saw this.

Good bye you big wonderful he/she whale. Happy Mother's Day to you! And in case you didn't know this, I live here now. I'll be back for more photos later. And maybe, one day, I'll see you eyeball to eyeball and you won't think I look like a rubber worm.

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