Cetacean Society International

Whales Alive!

Vol. VIII No. 3 July 1999

June 5, 1999 CSI Whale Watch Report

by Len and Lea Brown, CSI Board Members and Whale Watch Coordinators

John Denver sang a song, "Some Days are Diamonds (Some Days are Stone)". CSI whale watch weather can be identified with this title, as we have been out on some granite-gray days. However, this year we definitely got a diamond. We sincerely wish that all of you who have shared some really nasty weather could have been with us this year.

It was a perfect June day and the scent of the beach roses was almost overwhelming as we gathered at the Province Lands Visitor Center for a concert by our own Don Sineti. When Don gets going, the audience gets involved and everyone has a great time. Don's enthusiasm is very catchy and his knowledge of sea music extensive. We joined in on some new sea shanties that have a distinct African influence, and the theater rocked!

Cheered with great fellowship, we headed dockside to board the Dolphin 7. This is the 26th year of whale watching for the Dolphin Fleet, considered one of the best operations in the world. Direct and related businesses to whale watching generate over a billion dollars annually! This seems to be a great way to be a success doing the right thing as opposed to whale hunting. Once you share time and space with these animals, it becomes impossible to understand the desire to kill these wondrous creatures.

Dr. Carole Carlson, a true champion of whale conservation, was the naturalist as we sailed out to the whales on the sunset cruise. Not far off shore, we were greeted, literally, with the waving flippers of a whale named "Seal". We were treated to a sighting of a mother whale named "Dusky" and her calf. During the cruise the whale behavior was varied. We saw flipper slapping, rolling, tail breaching, full breaching, spy hopping, open mouth feeding and a close approach by a whale that was not identified, but was very curious about us - as you can tell from the picture. The picture sums it up very well, a perfect day spent with special friends. Dr. Carlson introduced us on board as a small group with a large voice in the whale conservation world, making us all feel very proud to be part of such a great effort.

Even as we gathered at a local restaurant to savor the day, a woman reached out to us, asking where we were going next as she had been following us all day and having the time of her life! We only wish that we could copy this day to rerun next year so that you could join us.

Happy whale watching - please try to get out this year, the sightings are terrific!

Photo by Lea Brown
Humpback whale

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