Whale Watch

The Dramamine was working for me at least. I fear boats but the lure of seeing whales had exceeded my aversion. Ptown was no longer visible as the small craft motored out to see humpbacks.

Judy had advised me well as to the cold May ocean. We had both brought winter wear and still the wind stung. She had her wool cap pulled down and was in the bliss that addicts lovers of the sea.

"This is great!" She purred.

"Where are the whales?" I complained. Steely waters in all directions and this fragile vessel for setting my feet. Salt spray clouded my glasses and I measured my discomfort against my anticipation of sublime encounters with nature's mightiest creatures. Anticipation held the edge.

The boat was filled with about 30 tourists and nature lovers and crewed by scientists who used the tour proceeds to fund their research. The guide was using a loudspeaker to explain this and details of the voyage to the whales’ feeding grounds. Judy had her camera and I just had binoculars.

Abruptly the guide announced with obvious excitement that their sister ship had radioed the news of a chance encounter with an orca -- the killer whale. This was rare in these waters so they decided to rendezvous with the inbound tour boat. Soon we could see the boat on the horizon. Nearing, several people shouted that they could make out the splashing of the whale. The whole party rushed to the port side, which worried me but didn't affect the boat’s stability. When the boats neared hailing distance, the whale had vanished. All eyes searched the sea. Nothing. The crews hailed each other but the whale was gone.