Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Whale of a Story

Occasionally I have the urge to post nothing but complaints on my blog.  I guess this is a natural urge that most people have and I am no exception.  In fact my first blog was nothing but bitching and complaining just about everything in my life.  Needless to say my blog postings were not well received.  I felt better because I was venting, letting steam off.  What little feedback I did receive on those blog postings was always negative.  It really wasn't a feel good blog.  And I have to admit that with all my bitching, I really didn't feel any better.

So I took a break from blogging for about year.  Then when I got back into blogging in 2005 I only did one post that year and that was about putting my house in Pennsylvania up for sale.  I managed to hit head first right into the Great Housing Crisis and was so consumed with just trying to survive and not fall into a financial abyss that I didn't post anything else that year. 

When I finally got back into blogging big time in 2007 at the urging of my non-blogging friend Bob C., my aim was to keep my blog posts positive and keep the bitching to a minimum (I wouldn't be me if I didn't bitch).  

With my aching back (which is better by the way) for the past few days I've been having that urge to post a blog of my whole litany of complaints.  But I held off.  I'm glad I did because someone (who I don't know) sent me this story today by e-mail.  This is just the type of story that I'm glad to end the week on.  It is a story of human kindness, grace and inspiration towards one of our fellow creatures here on this planet that we all share.  I love this kind of story and I hope you do too:

The Whale... If you read a recent front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.
 A fisherman spotted her just east of the  Farallon   Islands  (outside the  Golden Gate ) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her. They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her.
When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around as she was thanking them.
Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.
 May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by people who 
will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you. And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.
I pass this on to you, in the same spirit.

It's a good life


nitewrit said...


Skeptic that I am, I am always a bit dubious of these types of stories and try to check them out. This one is pretty much true. Here is the less emotional account verifying it from Urban Legends:

Analysis: True story, though the inter-species pathos may have been exaggerated a bit in the telling.

According to local news coverage, it all began on Sunday, December 11, 2005, when a fisherman spotted a 50-ton humpback whale tangled up in crab trap lines off the Marin County coast in northern California. His call for help was answered by the Marin Marine Mammal Center, which dispatched a group of Coast Guard divers and whale experts to the site near the Farallon Islands to free the animal.

The rescue operation was both difficult and dangerous. Crew members found the whale entwined in some 20 ropes, each 240 feet long and wrapped so tight they were slicing into its flesh. The lines had to be cut by hand, which required diving perilously close to the whale and its powerful tail. It took about an hour, and no one was injured.

In interviews with reporters, some of the divers remarked on the whale's "affectionate" behavior. One said the creature watched and seemed to wink at him as he was cutting a line that went through its mouth. Once freed, the whale began circling and approached the divers one by one to "nuzzle" them. "You hate to anthropomorphize too much," Mick Menigoz told the San Francisco Chronicle, "but the whale was doing little dives and the guys were rubbing shoulders with it. I don't know for sure what it was thinking, but it's something that I will always remember. It was just too cool."


nitewrit said...


Just read your comments on the Bearded One's blog. That wasn't excitement, that was lust! And your weekend was a Freudian Slip, you went to your usual hangout and had a weeking in the knees when you saw that guy. :)

Good grief, look at the size of the word verification for this comment!! Eight letters.


Ron said...

I know what you mean about doubting the validity of almost anything that comes across the Internet these days but I believed this story. As about the "inter-species pathos", this is just what I was talking to you about this morning about the "seat of the soul." I do believe something residing in the creatures of this earth other than humankind and that we should have respect for that "something." I also believe that evil resides in some humans and those who have an abundance of evil are souless. We are not alone in this universe, I know that.

Ron said...

Thanks Lar for the notification of the correction of my "weekend knees." Talk about a Freudian Slip!

Rick Bettencourt said...

What an inspirational story. Glad your back is doing better.

Cubby said...

That is a beautiful and inspirational story. I was a little scared the story was going to take a bad turn (perhaps the whale accidentally harmed a rescuer while trying to thank him), but am happy it turned out so well.

I've read similar stories about elephants thanking people for helping them.

I didn't realize you were such a long-term blogger. I'm still sore that I didn't discover blogs until 2009. Why didn't anyone clue me in?!! I wonder how many other undiscovered bloggers are out there unaware of this wonderful forum.

Jim said...

Hi! New here. Found your blog at Mark's 'Our Simple Lives'.
What a great story to hear....the connection that they felt must have been incredible. Thanks for sharing it Ron.

Ron said...

My back is MUCH better. What I needed was to get out and walk which I did tonight. Still cold outside and my throat hurt from breathing in all that cold air but my body is doing much better now. It was used to a daily walk (4 miles daily) in the spring, summer and fall. I guess the sudden inactivity did me in. I was getting worried about my back because I could hardly stand.
Thanks again for your concern.

Ron said...

Thank you Cubby for your comment. I have a special affection for our fellow critters. I always feel bad when I see one of them in a bad situation. This afternoon, returning from Millsboro I saw a snow goose that was sitting by the side of the road. I saw blood coming out from beneath her. Obviously she was hit by a car. She looked alert but couldn't fly. Farther up the road I saw the flock of snow geese in the field. They were short one. I'm trying to get that scene out of my mind now.

Ur-spo said...

A lovely story, indeed.

Ron said...

Thanks for your comment. I like hearing stories like this. There are too many stories with bad endings. It was nice to come across a story with a happy ending.

Anonymous said...

This is a great story. I too tend to focus on my complaints and need every bit of help I can to remind me to focus on what a wonderful life I have.
Thank you!
Melissa in Durham

Busy Bee Suz said...

I too try to focus on the good in life....cause there is so much bad, lets just sweep that bad stuff under the rug. :)

Ron said...

Thank you Sue for your comment. I agree with you, let's sweep that bad stuff under the rug. :)