Friday, August 19, 2016

maine: whale-watching

We couldn't help but participate in this typical East Coast tourist behavior: we boarded a boat and wandered about the bays and inlets near where we were staying, being told by a red-headed biologist what we were seeing out the window, which was mostly birds and birds: shearwaters, petrals, gulls, terns.

We also saw puffins, which Finn called muffins for a little while. You can see them in a little cloud right here:

Unfortunately, the ride was quite bumpy, and somehow that made mama seasick and frightened Maya, but you can see that Finnegan was having a blast. Maya was a bit more content when the bumps were a bit less sloshy.

One lovely creature that seemed to be attracted to the boat was the ocean sunfish, or a Mola mola. They are the ocean's largest bony fish, and if you click on that link, you'll see some remarkable photographs of an eerily beautiful creature.

We could only glimpse the topfin, so of course it seemed like a shark, but it was just a gentle giant drifting right beneath the surface.

And then the whale. And the sea lion who seemed completely oblivious to the enormous creature rising and lowering right beside him. Of course, how can one not sense that ripple, that burst from the surface and sink?

I wish the rocking were a bit more gentle--I probably would have been as my son was, up and down the aisles, peering out the streaky windows, proclaiming his absolute adoration for muffins! But it was still sweet to watch the blue and the gray against the blue and that thin bluer line on the horizon.


You can see that Maya came 'round. She came round quite often--the muffins, the muffins!--but when the biologist came around himself with a sample of baleen, she was engrossed. Who here has gotten to touch the "teeth" of a whale?

This, right here. This.

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