February 18, 2010 – We had just finished lunch, when we heard exactly what I titled this blog. The table we had been eating at was on the starboard side, so I looked out the closest window to see it. I was not able to see it, Plan A failed. Plan B, meaning, I ran to my cabin and grabbed my camera and jacket, then immediately headed towards the bow. At the time that I started snapping photos of the Southern Right whale, my mom was in the chart room, my dad was in dining room, and my brother was in the bridge talking to the captain about the whale. We all saw the whale dive, but all from different angles.
My mom had seen me on the bow without my parka and decided that the whale would take its time resurfacing, and so she went to get my parka. My dad figured the same thing and headed in to get his parka and cameras. Bas stayed where he was.
The right whale is named such because it was the right whale to hunt, it was slow and it floated after it died. It is also extremely rare because they were hunted so much and for a longer time than most of the other whales and they did not get protection until the 1930s. The V-shaped blow is unique to the right whale and the callosities on the head are unique to each individual.
Okay, we had seen the whale in the distance and were catching up to it again. I had no idea where the rest of my family was…until my brother handed me my parka which meant my mom was involved somehow because Bas would not naturally do so. I heard my dad’s voice somewhere behind me but not quite sure where.
The right whale reappeared first on the port side but then came back to starboard for the true performance. I could see the small white spot (compared to rest of the whale) as it surfaced and the whale opened its mouth to gather copepods, and at the same time lifted its tail (one fin was bent). The Whale sank back into the water but returned back for the final perfect, photo opportunity, a dive.
We saw it again further out but I was firm in my belief that nothing could beat what I just seen. Plus, it was declared that the ship was not going to continue following the right whale.
Bas started talking about other things we could be seeing that would be “so much better”, the blue whale and the sperm whale. Preferably the blue whale, and then tried to “convince” me of this. I would be happy with either one and I was and am pretty happy about just seeing the right whale……
We saw blue whales the next day.