Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Whale Of A Tale

But it's all true. At least most of it.

Time has gotten by me--we've been on vacation! It has been a good long while since we actually had a "vacation," so I put the computer in the case, grabbed my camera, and had the time of my life. I wish I could have taken you all with me. I enjoyed almost every minute of our vacation, and all the while in the back of my mind I wondered what my blog friends would like to see and experience through my posts. (The only minutes I didn't enjoy were the ones we spent eating at a Hard Rock Cafe last night. I never was too crazy about that kind of music, and it is hard to digest nachos covered with beans and jalapeno peppers while loud rock music tries to burst your eardrums.)

I hope you hang with me over the next few days as I try to record our adventures. Right now we are moving down I-90 in Ohio on our way home. My connection is only as dependable as a weak cell signal and typing while bumping down a concrete highway is challenging at best. I've got a lot of photos to weed through and edit--hoping to entertain you without putting you to sleep. So, sit back and live, as I re-live, our fun times. And if you are planning your next adventure to any of the places we've been, feel free to ask me questions.

Before we left New Hampshire we drove over to the rocky coast for a boat tour. We headed out to sea--about 22 miles from shore. We saw some pretty stuff along the way. I've always said, "Find joy in the journey!"FYI--When you are 22 miles out in the Atlantic, for all practical purposes, THERE IS NO SHORE! This is it--360 degrees. I call this picture Out Noah's Window.

Then, in the distance, there it was... The reason we were there...The burst of water vapor--formed as this magnificent creature of the sea exhaled--its hot breath to mix with the cool ocean breeze. Our tour guides didn't disappoint us. Fin whales are the second largest mammals on the face of the planet. Adults measure from 60 to 80 feet in length, and that is 60 to 80 feet of beauty and gracefulness!

Baby fin whales are about 200 lbs. when they are born. Their mother's milk is a good 50% fat so they can gain around 100 lbs. a day, and they grow over an inch a day. Our guide told us that they can live about 90 years.You might think that as big as these beauties are it would be easy to get a photo of them. WRONG! First, you look to and fro scanning the vast blue ocean for their blow, never knowing where it might be. After they blow they "surface" never letting more than 1/3 of their gigantic bodies out of the water at a time. Then, just as quickly as they show themselves, they are back under the surface. So then you wait, with camera ready, hoping they will surface again in or near the same spot. If you are lucky, you can snap your shutter at just the right instant to catch them before they "take a deep dive." I about broke my arm patting myself on the back because I was actually quick enough to catch some "blows" for you to see. (You're welcome.) LOL

We ended up seeing about 5 or 6 different fin whales that afternoon. Just as we were about to head back to shore, two of them surfaced at the same time right next to each other. It was mating season and I think they were "talking." Maybe not, but it was cool to see anyway!

While we were whale watching, nature was at work behind us, for when we turned back...

The weather started getting rough--(sing with me now)

The tiny ship was tossed--

If not for the courage of the fearless crew...

Okay, maybe it wasn't quite that bad, but the rain did come down, IN SHEETS! Visibility was cut to--well--not far. And we got wet!We made it back to shore safely, and I'm happy to say that the trip out and seeing the whales was worth a little bad weather, drippy hair, and squishy shoes. Wish you could have been there too. I'd do it again in a heartbeat!


Tricia said...

The water looks so blue in the pictures! Those are some big babies! Imagine the recovery from that birth!! Poor things! And I thought my babies grew fast...goodness!

Anonymous said...

I just love the picture of the lighthouse. I agree the water is so blue for no farther than you were from shore. It reminds of whe we got to go to Hawaii. We went on a cruise this summer and I don't think it was that clear or at least not in our pictures. When we were on the cruise we saw something in the water but we were so far from the water that we could not really see them They were just images in the water. I go so excited reading what you wrote. Thank you for sharing. Have a great trip home. Cindy

Talkin' Texan said...

Yes the water was VERY blue, until the sun started to set and the storm moved in. Where we were was just off the edge of an underwater mountain range (Jeffery's Ledge)so it was a very deep part of the ocean. I don't know if that added to the deep blue color or not, but it was beautiful!

Brittney said...

OH Wow!!!! What a great vacation. I love the photos. My favorite are the ones of the storm clouds. clouds have always been so wonderful for me. I guess maybe my head is up in the clouds so much...they seem like my second home. Such a wonderful thing to get to see....I am so glad the you are sharing your adventures with us all. How long do you think you will get to spend with your family? HOpe you have or Had a safe trip home. Am looking forward to hearing more about you vacation.