Posted by: onboardtourswhales | October 14, 2010

Nature Heals

This has been quite a year of life changes; death, cancer, addiction, health challenges, job changes and financial worries have touched me, my family and friends, along with great love and new life, hope and possibilities. I am expanding my horizons, focusing on working in Hawaii this winter, yet sad to let go of Baja. No wonder anxiety has been interrupting my sleep!

Yesterday, after another sleepless night, I forced myself to get some computer work done (Hawaii is not knocking on my door- go figure!), and do yoga (keeps me sane), despite the sunny, crisp, beautiful autumn day calling to me, bargaining that I’d go out for the sunset. I drove to my favorite overlook on the south end of the island, feeling a bit melancholy that my time on these waters was probably over until next spring, when I felt the urge to go to the west side, I had a feeling whales might be there, even though my mind said no.

I chased the sunset to the west side, and as I came out of the tree line there were Orcas! spread 1/8 of a mile off Land Bank property out into Haro Strait. I resisted the urge to jump out of my car right in the middle of the road, parking safely at the first pull out.

I was totally absorbed and awed watching a dozen? or more groups of killer whales swimming south with the ebbing tide, backlit by a salmon colored waning sunset reflecting in the low clouds and on the still water. I tried to take a few pictures, couldn’t seem to get focus, put the camera down to just enjoy the experience. For about a half hour pectoral slaps, tail lobs, and breaches sounded off the water. I could identify J-26 Mike (my favorite teenage whale!), and J-1 Ruffles, when they slowed to forage a bit in a reef off of Hannah Heights. The amount of whales suggested some K’s and/or L-Pod whales too, but I couldn’t get any ID’s.

Meanwhile, I noticed a friend that I’d lost touch with, hadn’t seen in months, sitting right there on a log, enjoying the magical evening too. She said she had just mentioned me to her friend, wondering about a whale behavior. They’d seen a couple of the whales speed swimming- ‘porpoising’ to catch up with the others. We hugged and agreed how ironic the evening was, and we were the only people (that we could see) witnessing this spectacular encounter!

My friends headed home, I stayed listening to the whales breathing, echoing long after the dark closed in and I couldn’t see them, comforted by just knowing they were there, that they existed at all. That hour took me out of my head, quieted the many voices in my mind! I was focused outward and truly present in the moment, feeling connected to the web of life. I think that’s why we all seek out wildlife and wild places; a primal remembrance, longing to connect…

One of my favorite writings, (whatever God may or may not mean to you);

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature, and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be.”  Anne Frank, “Diary of a Young Girl”

And by Wendell Berry:

The Peace Of Wild Things

“When despair for the world grows in me,

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake rests

in his beauty on the water,

and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief,

I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light.

For a time, I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

Today, all around the world, people are celebrating the fantastic survival and rescue of the Chilean miners. The effort shows the best of humanity.

Today people are also protesting and mourning the capture and slaughter of dolphins and killer whales. Check these sites out:

and I urge you to watch “The Cove’’ and sign this petition:

I think we need them more than they need us…

P.S.  Just found out through the Orca Network that L-82 Kasatka was sighted with a new calf- L-116, October 13, 2010, by The Center for Whale Research!! I like to think they were out there on that awesome evening!


  1. Hi Caroline
    A person who knows who they are and is content with that knowledge
    is rare.

    • Thanks Dad, you showed me that! Love Caroline

  2. We don’t have Orcas and other whales in MN. but I do share in your love of all things in nature and the peace that it brings to me to observe.

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