[...] whales sing the same song,
all of them, across the globe
in the chill of the Arctic
and while lazing through the Pacific for a year
and suddenly change their tone,
all of them at once.
The first few hours of that new language
filling the ocean with sonic waves
that ricochet wildly,
finally accidentally intersecting in such a way that is
where have you been I’ve missed you so much.
- Jenna Ogilvie, from “Rosetta Stone“
Dr. Philip Hoare: wsj.com: Swimming with Sperm Whales in the Atlantic Ocean:
“I’d been fascinated—obsessed, really—with whales since I was a boy…It wasn’t till the year 2000 that I came face-to-face with the real animals, on a whale-watching tour off the coast of Cape Cod. Nothing compares with the sight of a 50-foot, 50-ton humpback breaching a dozen yards off your boat, surrounded by a halo of glistening sea spray…
…The water was calm and the animals were socializing at the surface. There was no time to put on my wet suit; I jammed on my fins, pulled on a mask and snorkel and squeaked over the side of boat—and into the profound…Suddenly, there they were, only a bus-length away: more than a dozen leviathans. My vision was wall-to-wall whales. I could feel my heart beating hard against my rib cage. The largest of the animals detached itself from the pod and began to swim directly at me…
…The whale kept on coming. “OK,” I thought. “It’s either going to ram me with that enormous head—or it’s going to open its mouth at the last moment.”
…But just as I was reconciling myself to the inevitable, I felt—I didn’t hear—the whale’s sonar begin to click through my body. Click-click-click. Through my skull, through my sternum, its exquisitely accurate echo location scanning me like an MRI…The whale came within an arm’s reach. I could have touched it, but I knew that wasn’t part of the contract. It turned on its side and looked me right in the eye. It was a look of sentience, and of comprehension…
…Then the whale dove into its domain, from the blue into the black below. I laughed to myself, out of relief or ecstasy. That night, when I closed my eyes, the whale swam into my head. It’s still there now.
Don’t give up on this one. The underwater footage begins a the 1 minute mark. The Humpback calf comes on a 1:42. And you may wish you stopped watching a wee bit before the finish. No spoiler. (But don’t say you weren’t warned)
More on the background of this clip below.
“Hannah Fraser stars in ‘Betrayal,’ a conservation-themed video that features a ‘life-changing’ encounter in the South Pacific. Fraser acts as a betrayed woman who has fallen into deep despair. She plunges into the dark ocean and is about to give up when she receives a visit by a humpback whale calf. The human and mammal bond as they perform what appears to be a choreographed dance, and the amazing encounter restores the woman’s hope and faith. ‘The woman rediscovers hope and love, dancing with joy as she experiences a profound connection, and comes face to face with this incredible being,” says Heinrichs, an award-winning cinematographer.
Humpback whales, like most other species of whales, were hunted to the brink of extinction during the whaling era. There is mounting pressure by some nations to have them removed from the endangered species list so they can resume hunting.
The footage is unique and remarkable because Fraser was able to get so close to the young humpback, whose mother was nearby, for an extended period. In the video, the mother ultimately arrives and reclaims her calf.
‘The fact that these whales can choose to interact with us so freely, when they can swim away in an instant, and considering our species drove their species to the brink of extinction … to spend time in their company is both humbling and a life-changing experience,’ Fraser says.”
“Two divers had just been scuba diving at Souza Rock, two miles off Morro Bay in Central California. They were merely passing time before the next scuba dive by snorkeling among sardines and other life in the area. They had cameras and a safety rope, and hoped to get shots of humpbacks in the distance. “When we got in, the whales were about a quarter of a mile away.” Humpback whales feed on shrimp-like krill and small fish, which are ingested in large volumes with sea water. The water is expelled through baleen plates. In this case the whales were clearly after the sardines, using vertical lunge-feeding techniques to catch the fish. But humpback whales weigh up to 40 tons and the whales…”
Grindtv.com: “Visitors to marine parks have watched orcas perform all kinds of cute and fun tricks, but these sleek and powerful mammals perform their greatest acrobatics in the wild, without artificial stimulus. Capt. Garry Henkel of Aboriginal Journeys proved this emphatically with a spectacular set images captured last week off Campbell River, British Columbia. But even Henkel said he had never enjoyed a show quite like this one. “I’ve been on the water 40 years as a commercial fisherman, and the past 15 as a tour guide,” he said. “And this was by far the best show I’ve ever seen.” Henkel was leading a tour with eight passengers aboard a 28-foot boat, Laker II, on the back side of Quadra Island, when they encountered two family groups of orcas—about 12 total.
Something so simple. Yet, so true. Yes, it takes time. Yes, an introvert would need to leave the safety of their comfort zone. Making a human connection. I care. You matter. Need to work up to top of the ladder. See full and worthy post from The Chief Happiness Officer:
“Please do not underestimate the effect of something as simple as saying good morning at work. Studies show that when you have a good start to your work day, you’ll typically have a good day. Here’s our easiest and best tip for kicking your work day off with happiness: The Level 5 Good Morning. We call it that because there are several approaches to saying good morning at work:
- Level 0: You ignore people completely
- Level 1: A somewhat unintelligible grunt
- Level 2: Saying good morning without looking at people
- Level 3: Make eye contact as you say good morning
- Level 4: Also say something more than just good morning, e.g. “How are you?” or something more personal.
- Level 5: Also touch the other person – e.g. a handshake or a pat on the shoulder.
At what level are the typical good mornings in your workplace? And what would happen if you took it to level 5?”
Even a dog can learn to do it for Pete’s sake…