6 thoughts on “Foto Friday by Dan Danbom

  1. Dang … I’ll try to correct that today. It shows up on my posting software, but this has happened before.


  2. Lovely gray with calf, but the 2nd image isn’t coming through at my end either. But the one visible shot is truly amazing.

  3. Deep off of Carmel Point last week Ezra saw a pod of Orcas circling a whale and ramming it in the sides going for the kill. When he continued along Ocean View Blvd he wound around to Carmel River Beach and saw a mama and her baby waiting in the shallows, obviously aware of what was happening not too far away.
    The things we get to see living where we do!

  4. Here is a story I wrote for the Big Sur Historical Society’s dinner for the region’s fleet of commercial skiff fishermen, last year. I was out fishing just yesterday, and had mother and baby grey whales come right up to my skiff to check me out.


    In my little Captain Lingcod skiff, I am part of the ocean environment more than one would think. I often get marine visitors, who come right up to me. Seals often hover beneath me, looking up. Curious sea otters will often swim right up to check me out. The biggest guests are the whales. During the northward migration, the grey whale mothers take their young north to the fertile arctic feeding grounds. On their long journey, perils wait in ambush. Families of orcas station themselves offshore to intercept the mothers, and to attack the baby grey whales to feed themselves, and their own young. The older, more experienced, and wiser mother grey whales have devised a defensive strategy. They go “stealth” past the orca families, undetected. To do this, they swim in extremely shallow water, veiled by the thick kelp forest. They instruct their babies to keep very silent. Even when they rise to breathe, they do not
    “spout”, which would make noise. They breathe very softly and carefully…just like a human would sneak by.
    Along their way, many would pass by me…an odd little curiosity to them…a puny little human in a half-pint container…me in my boat! The mothers calmly swim by just inches under me. They have even gently rubbed their backs on the bottom of my skiff to get a convenient and free back scratch and rub off some of those pesky barnacles growing on their skin. Most whales just pass me by. However, baby whales are just like human children…curious, mischievous, and playful. There I am, minding my own business of commercial fishing, and suddenly a frisky 9- ton kid pops up its head, and sticks its nose right over the gunwale, looking me over with a big bright eye, right in my face. Upon eye contact, when my own eyes look into the gaze of a whale I can see the twinkle of an intelligent soul! Just like eye-contact with another person. I can see through to the highly intelligent mind, probably thinking more thoughts than me! The cautious mother whale is aware that her child should not be messing around one of those odd land-based humans. So she gently eases her 40-ton body between me and her baby. She, ever so gently nudges me and my boat away from her offspring, and her offspring away from me. The mother does so with an incredibly gentle touch. She obviously knows that a tiny human is very delicate, and does not want me to get hurt. I agree, I am no match for a frisky 9-ton playmate. The first time this happened to me, it scared the daylights out of me. But through the course of a migrating season a decade ago, I witnessed this dozens of times. The mother’s touch was incredibly sensitive. Obviously that thick hide had an acute ability to feel, just like our ability to feel touch through the tough skin of our fingers. So, I began to marvel and appreciate the caring courtesy and gentleness of the whales, and know that I had nothing to worry about. These whales are certainly intelligent and caring beings!

  5. Thanks for writing this tale, enjoyed it, and should be a lesson for land creatures.

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