When you look into the abyss, sometimes, the abyss looks back!
In early April of this year, 2015, we were headed back to La Cruz from Mazatlan by way of Chacala. It was early morning or late at night–that time before dawn, as the light is just revealing the morning.
During the early evening and night we had been sailing, but the wind softened to the point of nothingness, so we reluctantly turned over the engine and proceeded at low rpm on towards the bay of Chacala.
The water was so smooth that at one point, as the light became stronger, I took off my glasses to see if they were the polarized lenses. I’ve never seen water that smooth with small waves except in a computer simulation. It looked like cold molten glass. Unreal.
We were knocking off three to four knots at 800 rpm– not very loud by diesel standards. Almost no wake, just ripples from the passage of a hull through the water. Spiritus doesn’t leave much of a wake anyway … kind of like a ghost on the water.
Carolyn was below decks making some early morning coffee.
When, quietly, a not-so-small head emerged about 50 feet from the boat. I’d been so busy looking at the surreal waters that I hadn’t noticed the approach of the small whale.
It was not more than 15 feet long. Stuck its head straight up out of the water; and, I swear it held its breath as I held mine. I whispered to Carolyn to “Get up here. . . fast! No problems, but you have to see this.” Her head popped up, too. I pointed.
She saw it–it saw us–we saw it. Wowzers!
Nearby a larger shape broke the surface. Momma. We cut engines. Silence.
Everyone still holding their breaths.
“Do you want to get the camera?” Always the question with whales.
“No, just stay and enjoy this. I’ve never seen a baby this close, or seen one do this.”
Maybe thirty seconds passed at slooow time. In slooow time, seconds seem like minutes.
Slowly . . . gracefully . . . the head slipped straight down disappearing below the surface with only a few ripples. Cold molten glass again for water.
Makes you feel pretty insignificant. And, a little grateful for life in all its forms.
You will notice, once again– as in all tales of whales–I do not have a photo. But I can draw, so below I have sketched what it “felt” like. The problem with whales and photos, and photos– in general– is that to take the picture, you have to leave the experience and fiddle with your instrumentality, the camera. You only end up with a picture of the experience you missed. (I think I said that right enough.)
Sometimes, I would just rather have the sensory memory than the photo. It never captures the ‘muchness’ of the thing anyway.
Okay, is the quote from the movie, “The Abyss” or Friedrich Nietzsche?
Nietzsche wrote, “When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.” But, he was no doubt talking about metaphysics and not whales.
This entry was posted on July 21, 2015 by thrharperjr. It was filed under sailing and cruising and was tagged with abyss, baby humpback whale, baby whale, Humpback whale, looking into the abyss, whale watching on Mexico's West Coast, whales and metaphysics.