Apr 2, 2023
The Ocean Fun!
“There is, one knows not what sweet mystery about this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath.” —Herman Melville
Searching… why are we drawn to seek out nature and its majestic creatures? Creation, life, mystery abounds as it permeates through our soul, our essence, our being. Perhaps our primordial spirit is awakened in this quest. A quest that reconnects us in that intricate web of existence.
The Humpback Whales that I was seeking awaited our arrival. Imagination created the landscape of that encounter as I drove to Bonavista Newfoundland and the Lady Marguerite, our tour boat, awaited to ferry us on that journey.
All Photos by Vince Bucarelli.
Bonavista Newfoundland hails as one of the oldest North American settlements. First Discovered in 1497 by the Italian explorer Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot). Legend has it that Giovanni explained, “Oh buono vista” which loosely translates to “Oh happy sight.”
Perhaps the sight of land after an arduous journey across the Atlantic ocean would have one exclaim “Oh happy sight!”
Conversely, the landscape is breathtakingly rugged, truly a Buona Vista, I can only imagine the imposing sight as Cabot sailed into the harbour.
Arriving at the destination, Bonavista Puffins and Whale Tours, Lady Marguerite was prepped and ready for that 2-hour tour. The mainly sunny skies were a welcomed sight. Calm waters and warm weather provided the perfect weather conditions for a sightseeing adventure. Lady Marguerite could easily accommodate 51 passengers. With 35 people aboard, there was plenty of space to be comfortable.
I made my way to the top of the deck and positioned myself facing the Bow (front) of the ship. The top platform provided an excellent view of the horizon. As we departed port, I was anxiously awaiting the first signs of activity. The Atlantic Ocean was on the horizon beckoning us towards its open abyss.
Puffins appeared in great numbers; their coloured beaks visible as we ventured onwards. With anticipation people on board scanned the horizon for the tell-tale sign of a Whales presence. It wasn't long before we heard the infamous words, “there she blows.”
Honestly it was more like, “there it is!”
Our first sighting, the distinctive spout of water, could be seen from far away. The Captain adjusted course to intercept the Whale, the chase was on. As we approached the whale, numerous spouts could be seen around the boat and off in the distance. A cacophony of spouts surrounded the boat, it was truly a captivating sight. The rhythmic visual entangled the gazers in a tantric trance, hypnotic and mesmerizing, the Humpback whales announced their presence. The Majestic Creatures appeared before us as if curious about our presence. A Mother and its Calf approached our vessel, the Captain had turned off the engine to avoid hurting the Whales.
In amazement, everyone watched with excitement as the whales glided past the vessel. The whales footprint could be seen as the whales breached the surface for air. The massive oily print on the water's surface clearly outlines where the whale had been. Smooth and effortless the 25 tonne behemoth silently glided underwater, effortlessly moving forward with grace and poise. I was definitely enchanted and mesmerized by the gentle Giants presence. The mother and its calf drifted by us, gazing and curious by our presence. Further away we could see another Humpback whale playfully breaching the surface of the water. It was astounding and amazing to witness this leviathan launching itself through the air!
Here are few quick facts about the Humpback Whale
· They are making a comeback from being on the extinction list!
· Individual Whales can be identified by the markings on their tail
· They have the longest migration route. (almost 8000km!)
· Their songs can last for hours!
· Humpbacks have Baleen Plates instead of teeth
· Humpbacks can live for 90 years!
· They eat around 2000lbs of food a day!!
As quickly as they appeared, they moved out towards open water. Our rendezvous with these ancient majestic creatures had come to an end. It was long past due and we sauntered back to port. Tales of our adventure abound.
The ship was aloft with chatter as we recalled our encounter with the creatures of the great ocean. With gratitude, we entered their home to say hello. That sacred space where humans and whales intertwine for a brief moment in time to cherish and embrace a deep connection echoing to the depths of our soul.
“Whales and redwoods both make us feel small and I think that’s an important experience for humans to have at the hands of nature. We need to recognize that we are not the stars of the show. We’re just another pretty face, just one species among millions more.” —Roger Payne, Talking on the Water