60th Birthday Whale Watching Tour a Success!

I done seen whales!

But you don’t get to see them unless you click below the fold. The pictures are so awesome, so breathtaking, that I fear you will be awed and breath-taked to the point that you’ll pass out and fall onto a smaller, less massive bystander — possibly a child or a dog.

Meanwhile, content yourself with this picture of an extremely rare bird known as a “sea gull.” (Click to embiggen.)

Okay, I lied about the sea gull. If you look in a maritime dictionary under the word “ubiquitous,” there will be a picture of a gull. The damned things are EVERYWHERE.

I’ve been assured this is a juvenile Black-backed gull, the largest gull on Earth. They’re about the size of a pug dog, only with a greater wingspan. (See the ID thingies on his legs? Prolly has something to do with Homeland Security.)

I always marvel at marine birds. How cool is it to possess a body that not only flies, but also serves as a small paddleboat? There were plenty of raucous, screaming gulls on shore in Gloucester, Mass., but even fifteen miles out in the ocean, we continued to see random lone gulls just resting on the waves. Ubiquitous.

Anyway, here are the whale pics. Yeah, sorry these aren’t more dramatic. I figure if I go out on whale tours about 5 or 10 times, I might get some really dramatic pics.

But these critters live in the ocean — hell, we don’t even know where they go to have their babies — so they are still damned mysterious. Seeing one AT ALL is a plus, far as I’m concerned.

The biggest one we saw was about 60 feet long, about the size of your average Wal-Mart shopper, only with a blowhole instead of a neck tattoo saying “Delbert and Doreena, 10-17-98.”

The tour boat I was on, from 7 Seas Whale Watch out of Gloucester, I sort of recommend it, sort of don’t. I enjoyed the voyage — 5 hours in all, with about 5 fin whales spotted, one only about 30 feet from the boat — but I really wanted to get a few minutes with the biologist, to ask him some questions. He spent most of his time up in the front of the boat, in a roped-off area. I asked several times if I could talk to him or take a picture of him whale-spotting, but was told no every time. Made me feel like I was an unwelcome bumpkin.

One of my pet theories about endangered wildlife (whales, but not gulls or pug dogs) is that it does not in any way “belong” to human beings.

My old libertarian friend thought everything on earth should be owned by humans, and free market forces would somehow save endangered species or wilderness … if the people who cared about it cared enough to raise the money and BUY it from those who claim it. Having lived among humans, which my friend apparently had not, I thought that was just about the dumb-assiest idea I’d ever heard.

I have a serious problem with people who believe they have the right to turn gorillas into “bush meat” and rhinos into dick pills for brainless rich fuckers. Not to mention Japanese whalers killing these huge ocean wonders for phonied-up “research”. All of it apparently justified by the fact that those of us who love them don’t have the money to buy them back from the users.

MY libertarian idea is that anyone who cares about whales or wolves or desert wildlife has the right to stop those who are killing or using them up. After all, if somebody owns it just by claiming it, my claim to protect it should be just as defensible as theirs to consume it.

Susan K. Perry Reviews My Book!
The Dark Side of the Sun
Did God Mess With Biology's Roots?
An Unpopular View of Pets — and Pet "Lovers"