Travel & Food

Thar She Blows! Thar He Spews!

The Atlantic: “An Entire Group of Whales Has Somehow Escaped Human Attention”

I love articles like this because they remind me that as much as we know about our planet, there is still much more to discover. This piece is pretty long, but worth scanning at least. I didn’t know this about whales and dolphins:

“Life on our planet began in the water and moved onto the land, an evolution that is often represented—in graphics that show fish growing legs and ending up as human beings—as progress. Yet the cetaceans, that grouping of creatures that includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises, reversed the trend. They came ashore, took a look around—and returned to the sea, turning their backs on what would become the human dominion.”

The article reminded me of my own experiences with whales. In 2001 in Juneau, Alaska, I saw an entire pod of humpback whales engage in bubble feeding. That’s when the whales work together to surround fish, blow bubbles to corral them into a small space, and then swim up to eat.

Another time (in 2005), the Complimentary Spouse and I did a whale-watching flight in Kaikoura, New Zealand. We were on one of the smallest airplanes you have ever seen. We circled over the water for nearly an hour, with no whales to be seen. I was sitting in the front of the plane, next to the pilot (who appeared to be 14 years old). At long last, right before we were about to return, I spotted a whale and pointed it out to the pilot. She circled over it and, at that very moment, I threw up. This has become an inside joke of sorts for Britt and me. Every time we see a whale on teevee, I pretend to throw up.