Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Whale of a Dream

Everyone dreams of a place they want to visit. Emma, the protagonist in SECRET KEEPERS, has a bad case of travel lust.

What site, what country or city or mountain do you long to see?

In my case-- I yearn to visit the whales in Isla San José, in Baja California Sur, Mexico. There, as a recent article in the NY Times Magazine by Charles Siebert describes, something incredible is happening. The whales are watching us. Truly, the experiences between humans and whales are incredibly moving. Case in point:

A female humpback was spotted in December 2005 east of the Farallon Islands, just off the coast of San Francisco. She was entangled in a web of crab-trap lines, hundreds of yards of nylon rope that had become wrapped around her mouth, torso and tail, the weight of the traps causing her to struggle to stay afloat. A rescue team arrived within a few hours and decided that the only way to save her was to dive in and cut her loose.For an hour they cut at the lines and rope with curved knives, all the while trying to steer clear of a tail they knew could kill them with one swipe. When the whale was finally freed, the divers said, she swam around them for a time in what appeared to be joyous circles. She then came back and visited with each one of them, nudging them all gently, as if in thanks. The divers said it was the most beautiful experience they ever had. As for the diver who cut free the rope that was entangled in the whale’s mouth, her huge eye was following him the entire time, and he said that he will never be the same.


  1. I've been lucky enough to spend a lot of time on the water with the humpbacks off of Maui. It is an absolutely awe-inspiring experience. They travel to the waters off Lahaina to calve and mate every winter. There is nothing like watching a mom and baby breach. Amazing, just amazing.

    Next year, I'm heading up to Alaska to watch the very same whales in their summer home.

    Thanks for the link! And, book your trip asap. You'll be glad you did.

  2. You're so lucky to have seen whales, and in Maui, too. I've heard it's a life-changing experience.


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