Whale Watchers Newsletter No. 12
Albany Whale Tours
Whale Watchers Newsletter No 12: 19 August 2012
Saturday night – midnight – and still I try to describe today. Some experiences don’t translate to words easily.
Today, we were close to many whales. Six humpbacks in 3 pods, allowed us to travel with them, but were suspicious and keeping their distance….and the seals…. In complete silence, we sat within 3 metres of their swimming or sunning on gorgeous black-grey rocks…but we may as well have been transparent. We were invisible ghosts to the seals as they swam and played but ignored us.
So we sailed towards home after 4 hours of being in the wilderness, watching….but being ignored. Then came the Southern Rights.
They didn’t ignore us – they touched our 35 passengers more powerfully than with skin!
The scene was brilliant sunlight….the ink-black whales languid, 100 metres abeam…we….sails down, still and silent. As I often do, I played some opera….as the whales often do, they disappeared.
Then a motionless oil slick – drifting towards the boat. Still humans, pointing….20 people on the starboard side, pointing towards their feet – a metre above the waterline….a glowing phosphorescence…the slightly ominous black bulk of a whale, and from beneath our feet, a whale hung 30 centimetres below the surface, beside us…still.
The music played on and slowly, ever so slowly, the bulk grew in focus to surface. We could smell its breathing, and it whooshed fairly constantly, as the music played on.
Those two whales stayed looking at us, often no more than 2 metres from our feet….and the music played.
Children, grandparents, parents, backpackers….from all over the world….and trusting, friendly, interested, 20-40-ton animals. All species gentle.
Home late, too moved to pretend.