My mermaid sister Nora was visiting the island for a few days last week. Late on the afternoon of the 4th, we headed over to the mermaids’ favorite beach on the west side of island. We soaked up sun, silence, water, rocks and waves, giving thanks for this special place and for our friendship. I thought to myself, “The only thing that would make this day more perfect is if we saw some whales.” I’ve lived on this island for seven years now and had visited for several before that. I’ve often heard the stories of orca-sightings. I even put them into my Canoe (Chariot) card. But I’d never seen them here, even though they swim by every summer in pursuit of salmon. After awhile Nora and I began a deep soul conversation, as mermaid sisters often do; and just as I heard myself say, “You’ve got to think outside the box . . . ” I gasped and pointed: “Whales! Whales! Whales!”
There they were — it seemed like dozens! We must have watched them, enraptured, for at least a half hour. They just kept coming, heading south, following the fish. They were jumping and breaching and playing. It was one of the most thrilling things I have ever seen, especially since the orcas are now “officially” endangered.
When we headed home we stopped to talk to about a dozen or more folks standing out on the point, all watching the whales. The word had gone out. When we got home we sent more people down to the bay to see them. The next day, Bill the UPS guy delivered some packages and regaled me with a tale of being out on the water in his boat when he noticed all the people lined up on shore. He turned around to see the orcas just behind him. A good guy, he stayed a respectful distance away and kept heading north. Then my neighbor told me that he had heard that 2 or 3 of the resident pods had joined together with a transient pod, and that’s why there were so many, and they were so playful and active. They were glad to be back together. Sure enough, I checked out the Whale Research site, who reported: “We can confirm K-pod and most of the remaining L’s returned to the San Juan Islands July 4, 2007.” They’ve posted some wonderful photos here, better than mine.
What a day. Blessed be.