Day of the Whales

C. Coimbra photo

C. Coimbra photo

June 4, 2009 was a remarkable day.

Yesterday’s magic began with a blue heron visit near our front window.  This was before spouse and I took our trail bikes across the Fiscalini Ranch bluffs in Cambria, CA.  From the ranch’s golden grasses and dehydrating wildflowers, the sky and sea donned every shade of blue known.  The air had that warm/cool/salty element that charges the soul’s batteries.  A mile or so down the path we stopped at a bluff side park.  Watching the waves crash in and discussing the world with its pleasures and pains, I stopped mid-sentence and screamed, “Quick, look at that–look at what’s happening out there,” pointing west, over the shoreline to a giant water plume.

We watch for whale spouts all the time, but this was more than a spout.  It looked as though a submarine rocketed  from the sea, then belly flopped right back in.  With our held-breath,  we watched then heard the clash of tons of flesh against the still ocean waters echo to our ears, with a second echo to follow.

The humpback whales have returned to our shores for their summertime anchovy feast and they are remarkable. This nearby display became a daylong frolic that caught the attention of everyone we spoke with later–from the bank teller to the barbecuing neighbor.  He said, I’ve never seen anything like it.

By late afternoon my whale watching grew obsessive.  And it paid off.  Close, close, close to my normal vantage point, spout after back-lit spout danced around the kelp beds. Pelicans joined in and I grabbed my most powerful binoculars.  Could the humpbacks be following me? Vanity aside, I kept waiting for a fluke or a back.  The spouts looked more like our migrating gray whales–and it was.  A pod continued a gray whale’s afternoon romp for about another 45-minutes.

This Day of the Whales removed any angst that I tend to harbor.  Then I found this:

“P E A C E,” they cry.

Visit for more information about whales and our seas.

Categories: Nature

Tagged as: , , , ,

2 replies »

  1. I give you an “A” for being in the right place at the right time, and an “F” for failing to have a long lens camera with you.

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