A Whale of a Tale

Every day we write. Day in and day out, week after week, month after month, we write.
For some of us our thoughts come easy. For others, maybe not so much.
 

Some of us write or hope to write for a living, whereas many of us write because we just love to write. We love the rush we get when our characters come to life. We love when they expose their inner flaws and personalities that will lead us through the labyrinth of a wonderful story.
 

And sometimes it’s quite a narrative. Not your everyday fish story. Yet, perhaps a whale of a tale. Or so we hope, since that’s what keeps us writing, right?
 

Well, here’s a cool story, a phenomena really, or should I say Whale of a Tale though it wasn’t an animated film by Disney, nor did it involve a Bible character by the name of Jonah, or an epic yarn in the hunt for Moby Dick.
 

Every year, roughly 24,000 Pacific gray whales migrate between Baja California to their Arctic home, an annual round trip journey of nearly 10,000 miles. For that reason, Dana Point, which lies on the most southern tip of Orange County along the California coastline, has their yearly Festival of the Whales in early March.
 

Most of the whales have already passed by, except for a few stragglers, the mothers and babies that hold up the rear. Gray whales are not the largest, fastest or deepest diving whales, but they have the ability to adapt to life at sea and take advantage of the many niches along the coast that other whale species cannot.
 

Normally, during this part of the year, the weather is cool, so there’s not many people along the shore. But because of the unseasonal warmth that the west coast has experienced, a large pod was spotted in a cove in Laguna Beach recently.
 

Grey whale migration
 

And this…
 

Laguna Beach Whales
 

And this…
 

whalebeach
 

As you can imagine, because this wasn’t Maui, this caused quite a lot of excitement and the perfect fish story.
 

Yes, a whale of a tale. Now if I can only write this into my narrative. Now that would be a story!
 
 
So what do you think? Have you ever been to Maui or whale watching? Have you ever snorkeled or had the opportunity to swim with big fish? What’s the biggest fish story you’ve ever heard?
 

And if you’re ever in the neighborhood, take advantage of the whale watching skills of Dana Warf. You will have the time of your life! 🙂
 

Here’s the song “Whale of a Tale” sung by Kirk Douglas from the Disney movie “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” The link was provided by Patricia/Jansen Schmidt in the comment section below. Thanks Patricia!


 
Cheers everyone! Thank you so much for all your support and wonderful comments!
Karen

42 thoughts on “A Whale of a Tale

    1. Karen Post author

      Hello! You had a whale flip you off? Susie, that is the coolest! And so are your parties. I would be happy to clink on some links and make new friends. Thank you so much! And enjoy Wisconsin and the parents! ((Hugs!))

      Reply
  1. Shan Jeniah Burton

    I’ve never seen whales, or been to Maui. My husband went with another woman the year before we met – soooo close!

    I have, however, seen dolphins on Florida Bay, in the Everglades. I also saw wild manatees, and the release of a mother and calf close up, during the time we worked there.

    Biggest fish story? While I was getting SCUBA certified at John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo, Florida, we saw a 6-foot barracuda! Awesome, and, since we were 20 feet down, more than a little intimidating, too…

    On the wharves of San Francisco, and at various points along the Oregon coast (from lovely little Florence up to Newport; this New York girl married an Oregon boy), I’ve seen sea lions.

    Perhaps someday….

    Loved this post! =)
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Shan! So close, but so far away. That stinks! I have to say that seeing dolphins is very cool. I don’t think I’ve seen them in the wild. Oh wait, I did. In Puget Sound on a ferry to Vancouver Island. Excuse me. You saw a 6-foot barracuda? Hello! I can only imagine. That IS a whale of a tale my friend! And don’t you just love the Oregon coast? Yay, sea lions! It sounds like you married a keeper. Thanks for sharing your amazing experiences girl! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Emma Burcart

    I have never been to Maui or whale watching, as I tend to get boat sick. But, once when I was in a tiny little beach town in Oregon eating at a (delicious) restaurant, a whale breeched right in front of the giant picture window overlooking the ocean. It was pretty amazing. A dinner show that we didn’t have to pay extra for. I will definitely always remember that restaurant and that trip because of the whale. 🙂
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Emma! Oh no, you get sea sick? That’s miserable! But oh hey, that was a pretty cool sighting! You bet amazing. A dinner show for sure. The coast of Oregon is a great place to whale watch. What a memory Emma. I’m so glad you got to experience that moment. Thank you for sharing it! 🙂

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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Alarna! Ooh, now a helicopter is a very cool way to whale watch. And in New Zealand? Say what? You didn’t see whales? You got gipped girl! Major bummer. You’ve got try that again. Or there’s always dolphins. I do believe they hang out around your area. Now, that would be something alright! 🙂

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  3. Lynn Kelley

    About five years ago, hubby and I went to Maui in March, and I fell in love with the whales. It was mesmerizing. I need to get to Dana Warf next year for whale season. So close to home and I’ve never gone there!

    Fun video! Young Kirk Douglas! Thanks for adding that, Patricia!
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Lynn! Oh wow, good for you guys! March is the best time for whale watching whether in Maui or Dana Point. Yes, you’ve got to check Dana Warf out. And in our own backyard no less. Glad you enjoyed a little nostalgia Lynn. It was fun. 🙂

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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Julie! I happen to think watching dolphins is super cool also. I’m not sure if whales migrate through the gulf. But if you’re ever in the Pacific during the spring season, you’ve got to check it out. It’s definitely a show stopper for sure. 🙂

      Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      Hi August! Well cool. Now you’ve got something to look forward to. And right in your backyard. Almost. Come next spring, you and hubby should plan to take an excursion off Dana Point and whale watch. It’s fantastic and so inspiring. And I am well. Thank you August and take care! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Debra Kristi

    This is beautiful, Karen. I’ve seen the whales a few times while visiting Hawaii, but have never caught sight of them while home, here in Cali. Looks like they got really close to the shore. I would have been scared for them. Hate see a beaching. I have seen dolphins and seals on several occasions.
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    1. Karen Post author

      Thank you Debra. I’m so glad you got the opportunity to see the whales while visiting Hawaii. Hubby and I also had also seen them off shore on Maui and we also went whale watching. But I’ve never seen them come this close to shore. I’m not sure if they were trying to beach themselves. I think they were just curious and it is their custom to hover close, just normally not this close. So seeing them swim among the people out in the water was an extraordinary experience. 🙂

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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Coleen! Now see, I did not know that whales migrate through the state of Maine. But why would they? Glad you got to see them. It IS a great experience! Thank you and happy writing right back atcha girl! 🙂

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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Alana! So great to see you girl! Hey listen, a boat ride surrounded by dolphins is HUGE. They are amazing creatures full of personality. Yet, somehow I see whale watching sometime in your future girl. And when that happens, it will take your breath away! 🙂

      Reply
  5. Jennifer Jensen (@jenjensen2)

    I loved this, Karen! It’s never been the right season for whale watching when we were in the right place (and had the money). The only fish tail I’ve got was at beach on Oahu where the fish swarmed around you, even brushing against you, looking for food! I have sailed with my grandfather though, with dolphins surrounding us – awesome!

    So did you get down to the beach in time to see them yourself? How cool that they came that far in!
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    1. Karen Post author

      First, congratulations Jennifer for your graduation to P.U.! Quite an accomplishment my friend. And yes, I guess you would have to be at the right place at the right time. Don’t feel bad. My timing has been off a time or two. Swimming off the shore of Oahu amongst the fish is a great tale. And seeing dolphins is very cool indeed. But sadly, I did not get the opportunity to see the whales in person. It would have been quite an experience. Yes, very cool!! Thanks Jennifer! 🙂

      Reply
  6. K.B. Owen

    Cool post, Karen! I think it should be part of every human being’s education for him/her to see a whale up close in its natural environment. I remember a whale watch where a calf came up to our boat (curious, I guess), so mama came right up along with him! Incredible. I felt so small, and so in awe that creatures like that existed, and were so gentle with weaker beings like us. I’ll never forget the feeling. 🙂
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    1. Karen Post author

      Thank you Kathy for sharing your experience. It is so true. Once you’ve seen these amazing, gentle creatures up close and personal, how can you ever forget? Alzheimer’s maybe, otherwise something like that just stays with you. Can you imagine what it was like to be one of those people in the water when those whales swam up to them with their babies no less. Unbelievable. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Patricia

    I’ve been whale watching many times over the years and I always enjoy seeing the gentle giants. I’ve seem some pretty rare gray whale activity, too. I once saw whales mating, which means . . . I’ve seen a whale penis. That’s right. It’s really interesting how whales mate, but that’s a whole nuther story. I’ve also seen several grey whales “telescoping,” which is kind of unusual behavior. That’s when they appear to be standing on their tails with just their heads sticking out of the water.

    And, getting back to that Whale of a Tale and a Disney movie, actually, the Disney movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, has a song called “A Whale of a Tale.” Not sure how or why I remember this from a hundred years ago, but it goes something like this, “Got a whale of a tale to tell you lads – a whale of a tale or two – ’bout the flapping fish and the girls I love – on nights like this with the moon above – a whale of a tale and it’s all true – I swear by my tattoo.” I even remember it was the guy with the red and white striped shirt who sang it (Kirk Douglas I think in the version I saw).

    Anyway, enough about all of that. Fun post, Karen. Brings back some fond memories.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Patricia! You know I have come to rely on you for pertinent information girl. I had forgotten there was a song with the same title and the Disney movie “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” I think you are our expert in all things Disney. I can’t thank you enough for sharing that bit of information and the words to the song. Love it! I am sure watching those gentle giants mate is very interesting. I think I will stick with the “telescoping.” That, I have seen. Glad you enjoyed the post! 🙂

      Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Sheila! Oh my goodness Vancouver Island is just beautiful. I imagine that the grey whales would migrate through that area and perhaps even make their way around the San Juan Islands. Yet, the whale don’t normally cruise by this close to shore. That’s why it was such a phenomena. Yes, truly amazing. And thank you for stopping by to see me. ((Hugs!))

      Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      Lol, buck stories. Oh Jennette, that just made my day! Yes, I would imagine that would be quite a tale. Or cause quite a racket. So glad you went on that cruise. Whether the state of Alaska or just whales, both are magnificent! Thanks for sharing your story my friend! 🙂

      Reply
  8. Dale Amidei

    There are others, some furred or fluked, traveling through this life with us. Once in a great while, you can catch one of them looking into your eyes to catch a glimpse of your soul. Those moments are to be treasured, and recall words by English author Elizabeth Goudge: “Whatever it is that lives … should be touched gently, because the time is short.”
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    1. Karen Post author

      My goodness Dale, what a profound statement. How very true! I always enjoy your viewpoint. Thank you for sharing it. Gentle indeed! 🙂

      Reply
      1. Dale Amidei

        Thanks, Karen. Have you ever heard the old saying that if you sat a million monkeys at a million keyboards, eventually one of them would come up with a profound web post? Well, that was it, even though I was pounding away only for minute or so.
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        1. Karen Post author

          Dale, I have not heard of this. Although I am suspicious this is a Whale of a Tale my friend. And knowing you, it would only take a minute or so to write something so profound. As I said, I always appreciate your insight. Please do continue to share your most profound thoughts here! 🙂

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  9. Julia

    Let that whale story float in your mind long enough, and it will craft its way into a fine tale! Every year we scan the gray waters off our coast but rarely see whales. Got lucky once, on a 5th grade field trip on a boat out of Newport Oregon. One surfaced so near the captain had to stop the boat. My reward for volunteering to chaperone.
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    1. Karen Post author

      Well that was a great reward Julia. Many years ago, we drove up the coast of your great state and were amazed when we saw whales. We had pulled over in a small parking area against the cliff to eat lunch. Lo and behold, there they were. It was a beautiful sight! Apparently a rare one. I’ll never forget it. And that’s my whale story! 🙂

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    1. Karen Post author

      Hey Pru. Good to see you. How are you girl? Ooh, nice. Aren’t they majestic? Beautiful animals. I’ll have to send you some sand! 🙂

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