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July 18, 2017

The chills run up and down my body. I want to shout so everyone can see what I’m experiencing. To share in the magic. But I’m not sure I want to say a word. I could keep it as my secret.

The air explodes up as they surface briefly only to dive down again, mouths open and then shutting; baleen sifting out whatever they don’t want to eat.

The exclamations of joy and excitement escape my lips. The people all around me are sharing their “look!” and “whales!” in a cacaphony of languages.

There are many of them. Spray from their spouts mist the air. Small dorsal fins and backs periodically sneak out of the water. A couple of tails flick out before gliding smoothly back in the water.


Photo by Abbe’s Road, July 16, 2017, in San Francisco

Oh, but they are glorious humpback whales feeding on krill under the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s picturesque, like out of a movie or a photo shoot. The sun is out, the fog has not appeared yet today. It’s a clear and beautiful day.

There’s no way for the average viewer to know how many whales there are or how large they are. They give us only a peak at their size. They are teasing us with bits of their monstrous bodies.


Photo by Abbe’s Road, July 16, 2017, in San Francisco

I could sit here all day. My cheap binoculars don’t help much, but I don’t care. I am grateful and lucky just to be near them.

The first time I heard humpback whales and knew they were nearby, I cried gently. I couldn’t tell you why. It just felt so beautiful and important to me that I was allowed to be close, to catch a glimpse, to listen to their songs.

I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on whale-watching boat trips. Never have I seen so many or for such a long amount of time as I did the other day, sitting by the shore so close to them but in different worlds. I wanted to sit there all day.

The alarm rang, interrupting my reverie. The pre-paid parking meter expired. It was time to go. You don’t want to test SF meter maids.

I was OK with leaving, silently thanking them for allowing me to watch them for a time.

Whales are magical, I whispered to my son one day when we were again talking about whales. We tend to do that.

Why? he pushed back.

Because they are. Magic has no explanation.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 18, 2017 17:42

    I love it. Felt like I was right there with you

    Liked by 1 person

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