Spin the Globe with Justin Butner

A world citizen may provide value to society by using knowledge acquired across cultural contexts.

Scene – Watching a Whale

Written June 21

I knew whale watching was a thing. I just never thought it would be a thing I did. Yet here I am, sitting on other-worldly pockmarked rocks in Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay, New South Wales.

The air is cool but in a pleasant way. It is well above freezing which is why I’m here and not Canberra. The sun warms my legs as it beats down on my olive-sand pants. My head stays in the shade cast by a gum tree. A slight breeze cools me down a bit but doesn’t manage to push the mossies away. My camera and stuff lay strewn about my personal rock. The camera is set to on but has long since set itself to sleep from lack of use.

The whale (whales?) isn’t cooperating. For the first five minutes I wasn’t even aware it was here though I could see it. A black angular form broke the water in the harbor but no motion indicated it to be anything other than a rock or a submerged wreck. But as I started to switch my lenses it played. Rolling around in the water, submerging and diving, tail straight up in the air. The specifics of what it is doing are unknown as it is almost entirely submerged. But it goes on.

I sit with my camera at the ready hoping for a spectacular jump. I saw one earlier, possibly from another whale, certainly from a different beach upon my arrival. Now with camera ready nothing happens. It isn’t doing what I want. Then again, I haven’t told it what I want so how is it to know?

The water makes a rushing crashing gurgling sound as it washes in force over the rocky coast meters from me. There are no waves here. All is tranquil for minutes at a time. The only changes seem to come half a minute after the whale dives. When it is out of sight and a wave hits I wonder what maneuver he’s just instigated. But as far away as his is, so largely hidden under the water, and speaking to me as much as I am to him, I will never know.

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This entry was posted on June 25, 2012 by in Australia, Handwritten, NSW (Sydney).

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