No Whales, ODYSSEY Gulf Blog (year 3), Day 40, Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Day 40, Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,
I guess you’d say today was exactly the type of day we needed, especially after the marathon that was yesterday. I am not sure anyone would admit it though. You see today was the exact opposite of yesterday- no whales. Not even a single click on the array. No blows in the air and no fins in the water. No large whales at all.
The team was ready. But, there was nothing to sample. Even the plankton tow came up empty of stuff to collect (picture of Johnny and the girls looking for those samples attached). Things to see. Nothing to collect.
Dolphins (technically whales)? Yes. But, we do not sample them.
The dolphins came to the bow 3 or 4 times over the day. The best was in the morning. Spotted dolphins I think they were. They came and frolicked and we giggled with glee like school children. They were having so much fun and we were delighted to watch.
Then as if someone’s mom yelled “breakfast!”, they all sped away to some unknown location off our portside all at once. As if bow riding was their version of dodgeball or kick-the-can or some other neighborhood game. I have a couple of dolphin pictures attached. This group had a white tip to their beak as you can see from Sandy’s close up picture.
Thus, with no whales clicking or seen, the team could ease up a bit. All were still really worn out from yesterday. Even the youngest of us.
But, there was a notable side to the day. Once again we were awash in the beauty of nature’s colors at sea. It is difficult to choose a favorite they are all such incredible eye candy to enjoy. I love them all. With such a slow day, you can really take it all in.
It starts with water being the purest of blues offset by bright clean white splash. It’s the kind of blue that just reaches into your soul and says, “Relax. Be at peace.”, and within moments of mesmerized staring at it you realize you are. You have found a peaceful blue moment in a world mad with the pace of the modern day. You can’t help but melt into calmness and feel at one with the sea.
It then moves to warm pinks, fiery reds and awesome oranges than come with a brilliant sunset to end the day. You stand there riveted by their warmth and glory basking you in happy energy with color splashed across the sky and the water. A sunset that makes you warm all over and then goes “ta da” and disappears into the sea, followed by a eerie haze that makes you go “Wow, did that really just happen?!”
It ends with a pale full moon on a midnight blue sky which fades to black. The moon catching you in its hypnotic glow, flooding your senses with one simple word. Quiet. Within moments, without you even noticing, you are still and the world is quiet. You bathe in that quiet, cleansed by the brilliant white light and is amazing reflection on the water. You realize that all is well and you can now rest and relax and enjoy some warm moments of peace. So you do. You smile and you find grace and gratitude for this gift of a day and for all that you have been given especially for those you have to share it with and quietly you say thanks.
It is remarkable to spend at day at sea with nature’s colors. I highly recommend it. I hope I have been able to share it well with you in my words and pictures.
If you look at the daytime pictures you will see the clear blue water.
Can you feel it’s peace?
If you look at the sunset photos you will see the pinks and reds and oranges and if you look really close sunspots too (in sunset c). Can you feel the warmth?
Perhaps, it’s the moonlight that will touch you gleaming in the sky and shimmering on the sea. Maybe, for a moment, it will be quiet where you are.
I hope at least one brings you some joy. Enjoy the 4th.
The team is resting.
P.S. If you want to see our location on Google Maps we are at:
just paste in the coordinates and click search
If you want to read the previous days of these messages- they are
posted at www.usm.maine.edu/toxicology/gulf and click on “read logs
John Pierce Wise, Sr., Ph.D.