Thursday, July 28, 2011

Whale Watching and Wincing

Before setting sail, we had a group picture taken on the dock. Ironically I had a huge smile on my face of genuine excitement. Little did I know, I was in for a day of partially crippling seasickness. I hadn't been on a whale watch since I was a 5 or 6 but I remember having a great time despite some mild seasickness. Motion sickness runs in my family. I believe this is largely psychological as my father became violently ill on "It's a Small World," which is in it's own right, not even a boat ride. To this day he claims he "got" on of the animatronic children... I dont believe it but he stands by this proclamation because after all, who are we without our principals.
We boarded the Aurora and was informed of it's eco friendly water jets that powered the vessel. Boba said that the Boston Whale Watching Catamarans are the cleanest running catamarans in the country. Anway,,, roughly an hour into the excursion after standing on the bow of the boat, I decided to look around the ship I'd be spending the next 3 hours on. When I got to the second level of the boat I peeked into the cabin for a moment and saw that a girl had lost her lunch on the floor. I empathized as I've experienced sea sickness before but as soon as I caught a whiff of the mess she left I instantly remembered being seasick as a child and my brain went to a familiar place. Moments later I too was sitting with my head between my legs on the outside dock with my eyes closed. Luckily people on my level were reacting loudly with excited gasps. Luckily I regained my composure to witness the majestic creatures of the ocean.
I found a strange sort of solace when Boba mentioned that whales often travel in twos. Is it for companionship? protection? In any case, Duncan was nice enough to grace us with his presence for a short while. I don't know how gender neutral the name "Duncan" is. It seems about as gender neutral as "Melissa." It was disheartening knowing that the population of these creatures is dramatically decreasing. I can't wholeheartedly say that I'd be devastated if I found out whales became extinct but at the same token I'd be surprised if we stood by and let this happen. What is killing whales is oil spills and pollution but at this point, can we help either case?
I was surprised to discover that when the whale watchers go out on tours they don't use sonar when trying to find humpback or any kind of whales. They had a hot dog cooker but no sonar. The woman at the snack bar spoke candidly said that today's trip was about a 7 or 8. This was a fair compromise as many whales were seen by all.

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