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Monday, December 12, 2005

You're Not Suppose to Get Close

The Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits vessels and their captains from getting within a certain distance of whales. But there is no law that prohibits whales from getting close to vessels, which, if you're lucky, is something they're known to do. Nobody knows why. Perhaps it's curiosity. Perhaps it's companionship. Perhaps it's something else.

This large humpback got within a few feet of our small boat when he decided to roll and flop around as if he were trying to work out a kink in his back or expel some gas. Don't laugh, In the past I've been alongside whales that have provided my passengers with a whiff of some very aromatic flatulence. Just when you think the air couldn't smell any worse, there's an unmistakable assault on the sinuses.

These are pretty smart animals. Maybe they do it on purpose.

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