I had great trepidation as we boarded the ferry for Victoria. As I have mentioned in this space more times than I care to remember, I have motion-sickness angst every time I board a sea-going vessel. As we would be trapped like hamsters on a wheel with no escape in sight for almost two hours, and the weather out here in British Columbia has been more like mid-summer, we headed immediately to the outdoor deck at the stern of the ship. I figured that if the crossing was rocky, at least I could hang my head over the railing in relative peace and not disturb too many other passengers. I chose our location well, for not only were the seas very calm but immediately after launch we were treated to my joy of joys; a pod of at least a dozen orcas was right beside the boat. When the announcement came on over the intercom informing everybody else of the whales' presence, we were already in direct view and had a front row seat to the show. We saw several breach and more than a few displayed their flukes for us. I sobbed with joy knowing how special this was.
But, my exuberance was intensified by my partner at the rail. Standing beside me was a young boy named Colton who rushed over to see the show with his mother and older brother. He was desperate to see the whales, but due to his size and excitement was having some problems finding them in the water.
Colton: I want to see the whales, Mommy. Where are they?
Mom: Straight out there. Look over there Colton.
Colton: I can't see them. I want to see them!
Mom: Straight ahead.
I totally understood his problem. Being of stunted height myself, I am often left behind when the world is having a collective vision.
Me: Colton...follow my finger and look straight where my finger is. Do you see them now?
Colton: YES!!! Are they killer whales?
Me: Yes. Yes, they are.
Colton's mom then told the both of us how very special this experience was. She recounted that in all her years taking this ferry back and forth from Vancouver to Victoria, she had never once before seen the whales. Colton jumped up and down with the glee that only a child could get away with, and clapped his hands in absolute delight. I desperately wanted to jump up and down and clap right along with him.
It is a wonderful thing to be able to have a once in a lifetime experience and have it come entirely at random. It is even better to view it with the unqualified purity and unmitigated joy of a child. What a gift I was given today.
|Photo credit: Barry Stein|
|Photo credit: Barry Bernstein|