Whales!

Coast Watches: Twelve Meditations

Prior: Sneaker Waves

January 7

Sunny, sunny day. 51 degrees at 2:30 pm. At Cape Foulweather I stop to see the cliffs and then find the nearest beach — it’s a minus tide. Two men with binocs are at the lookout point — whales far below, several clusters spouting, 1″ below the horizon.

Excited, I hurry home. No spouts visible from my deck. The two whale-watching boats I saw far to the north are now out of sight behind the pines, nearer Little Whale Cove.

The sea is calm — no foam below, no waves, no whitecaps, no glints on the water from the sun except one streak to the southwest.

I sit down at my window to a late lunch, and as I’m eating, I see a spout of white just over the oceanfront right house roof down below, 1″ below the horizon. The pine shrubs around it almost block my view, but could it be? I get up and find the binoculars.

Gone — nothing there now. Damn. Visitors at my open house saw whales. Why not me? All this time I live here and no whales, only whitecaps, not good days to see spouts.

And then, right over the oceanfront left house roof, in the distance: 1,2,3,4 spouts! Wow! But even before I can track them, more, big and bigger spouts shoot up DIRECTLY in front of me, 1″ BELOW the damn telephone line that droops across the horizon as I sit at my desk.

I see 1, 2, 2-1/2 spouts! A baby spout? These are VERY CLOSE — on a level with the oceanfront right house’s weather vane, a hundred yards or so out!

Again, 2 spouts, 2 spouts, 2 spouts, across my window-screen. Finally they swim out and away, out into deeper water.

Now the sun has sunk behind the horizon clouds, turning all a soft blue-gray-pink. No more whales for now. Sunset time.

Grayer-pink, pale blue overhead, then a golden glow behind light blue-gray fluffy clouds, down to a pale pink horizon, pinker to the northwest.

Dark blue sea on the horizon due west; light blue sea on horizon to the southwest; a navy strip nearer–shifting–darker–muted–gone.

At last the house is living up to its name. A perfect sunset for a perfect day at “Whale Watcher’s Delight.”

Next: Paradise Found: Cave, Waterfalls, Black Beach, Whales, Seals

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