Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Blue Miracle

Blue Whale off Dana Point, Calif. © Jain LemosAround 5:00 PM today, this 60-foot blue whale popped into view as we cruised a few miles off shore aboard the Research Vessel Sea Explorer. We were guests of Bentley Cavazzi, Marketing Director of The Ocean Institute at Dana Point Harbor, California. Captain Mike Bursk and his crew expertly navigated us through pods of dolphins and to within arm's length of this rare whale. I eagerly ran through an entire flash card. I was feeling time pressure; the animal was in complete harmonic calm.

Back on land, we were treated to a lecture with the totally engaging Earl Richmond for The Institute's Artist by the Sea program. Earl shared highlights of his fantastic body of work including research, rescue and educational videos. Earl's company has the world's largest collection of blue whale footage! Sadly, only about 12,000 blue whales remain on the planet.

My position on the tip of the bow pulpit was thrilling. What a great day surrounded by smart creatures above and below the sea.