As soon as we began paddling that morning we spotted a whale straight ahead of us. We started paddling toward it. Before we knew it, we were about 25 to 30 yards from a baby, his mom, an adolescent and an escort--a huge male--who protects the mom and baby. To say we were in awe is an understatement. These guys are enormous--an adult is about 40 to 50 feet long and weighs about 40 tons. A new born is about 1500 pounds and about 15 feet long. The ocean canoe we were in is about 15 feet long (also the size of an adults pec fin!) and is light enough that I can carry the boat on my own. Talk about feeling small and putting one's life and place in the universe into perspective.
This was truly an amazing experience that we feel beyond fortunate to have experienced. As I believe in the importance of giving back, I came home and researched nonprofits that protect the humpbacks. After researching different groups, their work and their ratings on Charity Navigator, we are making a donation to the Wildlife Conservation Society and earmarking it for their work to save humpbacks. It is our small way of thanking the universe for its gift to us that morning.
To quote marine life artist Wyland, "If you want a lesson in beauty, in harmony, in balance, just swim with whales or dolphins." Indeed.