Despite all the trouble and strife in the world the return of the whales gives us hope


As I grow older and older,

And totter my way to the tomb,

I find that I care less-and-less

Who goes to bed with whom.”

The above is true. Have fun, kids. Even if it is an illicit liaison, it’s better to ‘do it’ than to go to your grave regretting that you didn’t do it.

There are other elements of aging and one of them is the fact that stuff hurts more and more and steps must be taken to rectify decades of neglect. For me, I have taken up going swimming early on Sunday mornings. Truly it does help with my back woes and also because it enables me to interact with people going through the same sort of shit that comes with age. I do hope I am still a bit charming because the rest of it all doesn’t enchant me.moby

And going swimming is the lead-in to the actual subject of this blog – sometimes it’s a circuitous journey to clear my creative throat — which is, whales. Whales are the issue because, apparently, they are back. Brilliant. This is one happenstance in a tortured world that makes me genuinely happy. I like whales very much. In Moby Dick I rooted for the big white behemoth, and screw Ahab. (I might add here that MD is arguably the most boring book ever penned) I would be happy if the Sea Shepherd boys were to blow Japanese whaling craft out of the water. And I think any nation that persists in whaling should be nuked. That’s what I think.

As it was a few centuries of whaling globally had reduced all species of the great cetaceans to mere handfuls in some cases. Others were wiped out altogether. Fortunately assorted moratoria against whaling in recent decades has resulted in a virtual rebirth of some particular species, though there is still a way to go.

I saw my first whale when I was about 17 during a road trip to California with my parents. As one does when traveling Highway 101 through Oregon, we stopped at the noted Sea Lion Caves. Interesting enough, but of much more interest to all the spectators were two sperm whales bobbing up and down in the surf at the entrance to the cave. ahab

Later in life, living on Baynes Sound I spied a few – very few – over the years. They weren’t truly ‘back’ yet. It wasn’t until my ex-wife, step-daughter and I went to Maui in the early 1990s that I saw a lot of humpback whales up close. Saw them and heard their eerie and enchanting song. I also found I could hear the song underwater when I was snorkeling even when the whales were miles away.

Then they all became increasingly ubiquitous. Whales all ovah da place. I just love it. When Wendy and I went to Alaska in October we went on a whale watching jaunt. We saw over 40 of the behemoths, including a breaching one. Other than the other kind of orgasm, that’s a pretty orgasmic experience.

Welcome back big guys.


6 responses to “Despite all the trouble and strife in the world the return of the whales gives us hope


    One of my friends was in Greenpeace for several years. She was involved in stopping a Japanese whaling ship from killing whales, even boarding it and being arrested for piracy. Greenpeace bailed her and others out and they left. She cannot return for fear of being rearrested and tried as they never returned for the trial before. She was involved in this recent event in Oregon ( as one of the kayaktivists (did not hang from the bridge) and it all ended up working to end the idea of the drilling. YEA! She continues to do what she can as an environmental activist!

  2. good to see and hear you’re alive and kicking —keep the words flowing Ian!

  3. I admire the hell out of such people.

  4. I’ve been whale watching in Tadoussac, where the Saguenay river joins the St. Lawrence. There’s nothing quite so trilling as a breaching what at 6:00 am about 10 meters from your zodiac. Truly awe inspiring (can’t even say awesome now, it means nothing anymore when a mere tshirt is described as awesome – yeah, don,t get me started).
    Oh, and for the record, the most boring book ever is James Joyce’s Ulysses, with Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man as a really close second.

  5. I actually liked Portrait of an Artist. As for Ulysses, people only read the Molly Bloom dirty parts. Whales — yeah, what a rush.

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