Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Jan, Her Dad and Whales

Jan's Dad, quite the Fisherman, always wanted to see Whales. He never got a chance to. Jan made it one of her Life Goals to see the Whales her Dad never did. Our sojourn on the Maine Coast lent itself to that purpose. So.... One morning Jan, Adam, Trista and Cordelia boarded a Whale catcher in Bar Harbor and off to Sea they went. After fruitless hours of searching....
Thar She Blows! (just caught in the Camera's Eye)
Turning and giving chase.... Thar She Blows again!
And then that Whale Watcher's treat.... Thar She Breaches!
Adding to the excitement.... There are actually two Humpback Whales here.
Bye bye!


  1. Trust an intellectual to be picky. A tail slap isn't breaching: breaching is when the whale leaves the water entirely. Beautiful pictures!

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  3. "All writers lie", Eh? A bit of Artistic License, that. The Blogger knew that Jan did (unlike others in the Party), in fact, see the Whale Breach....Since no PIC of the Event exists one of some similar Dramatic Impact was substituted :~)


  4. From Chapter 86 of Moby-Dick, "The Tail":

    As in the ordinary floating posture of the Leviathan the flukes lie considerably below the level of his back, they are then completely out of sight beneath the surface; but when he is about to plunge into the deeps, his entire flukes with at least thirty feet of his body are tossed erect in the air, and so remain vibrating a moment, till they downwards shoot out of view. Excepting the sublime breach -- somewhere else to be described -- this peaking of the whale's flukes is perhaps the grandest sight to be seen in all animated nature. Out of the bottomless profundities the gigantic tail seems spasmodically snatching at the highest heaven. So in dreams, have I seen majestic Satan thrusting forth his tormented colossal claw from the flame Baltic of Hell. But in gazing at such scenes, it is all in all what mood you are in; if in the Dantean, the devils will occur to you; if in that of Isaiah, the archangels. Standing at the mast-head of my ship during a sunrise that crimsoned sky and sea, I once saw a large herd of whales in the east, all heading towards the sun, and for a moment vibrating in concert with peaked flukes.

    From Chapter 134, "The Chase":

    The triumphant halloo of thirty buckskin lungs was heard, as -- much nearer to the ship than the place of the imaginary jet, less than a mile ahead -- Moby Dick bodily burst into view! For not by any calm and indolent spoutings; not by the peaceable gush of that mystic fountain in his head, did the White Whale now reveal his vicinity; but by the far more wondrous phenomenon of breaching. Rising with his utmost velocity from the furthest depths, the Sperm Whale thus booms his entire bulk into the pure element of air, and piling up a mountain of dazzling foam, shows his place to the distance of seven miles and more. In those moments, the torn, enraged waves he shakes off, seem his mane; in some cases, this breaching is his act of defiance.

    'There she breaches! there she breaches!' was the cry, as in his immeasureable bravadoes the White Whale tossed himself salmon-like to Heaven. So suddenly seen in the blue plain of the sea, and relieved against the still bluer margin of the sky, the spray that he raised, for the moment, intolerably glittered and glared like a glacier; and stood there gradually fading and fading away from its first sparkling intensity, to the dim mistiness of an advancing shower in a vale.

    'Aye, breach your last to the sun, Moby Dick!' cried Ahab, 'thy hour and thy harpoon are at hand! -- Down! down all of ye, but one man at the fore. The boats! -- stand by!'

  5. Yup. Jan's words were "I saw the Whale Leap out of the Water"....
    Melville does say it more eloquently, I suppose. :~)


  6. Anonymous11:20 PM

    My daughter, her husband and I were on the Oregon coast several yrs ago. We went to the aquarium at Newport. Big whale display. Whales were due back in a couple of months. Going North thru Depot Bay we stopped and asked at a boat charter booth when the whales would arrive.They're here was the answer. The Depoe Bay area has it's own resident whales. They DON'T go North for the winter. The whale came within 75 feet of our boat. GREAT!! Bob Knotts


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