Last week, up past my eyeballs in work, Ben calls me and asks if I want to join them to go move a whale. "Excuse me?" I ask. He explains with few details that there's a 27 foot dead gray whale near Charlie & Debbie's on the beach. NMFS checked it out, suggested it get moved, indicated that someone else would have to do that since it apparently wasn't too high on their priority list. So there ya have it, the boys geared up for an old fashioned whale move.
I was late (SORRY!), but we left the harbor at high tide with Josiah, Brad, Ben and I on his boat, Charlie and Elias on their boat, and Brian and some other folks on theirs. It was a veritable armada, with three skiffs heroically speeding down the spit on a mission.
I couldn't quite figure out if there was a plan of sorts, and come to find out it was a true cowboy mission - Move the Whale was the long and the short of it.
I was impressed that Charlie had worked at low tide to affix lines and buoys to the whale, which was now back in the water but still grounded. There was a small crew of onlookers, including Amanda, Calais, and Debbie. And the newspaper! The Whale Move would be recorded for posterity it seemed, and not just by me.
Ben, Josiah, and Brad acted fast - moving in, grabbing a line, hooking up to it with a bridle off the stern, and heading out to sea. Charlie and Bryan were still back there, working against the wind to try and get lined out and lined up in the same direction.
Bryan was still going in the wrong direction, having a difficult time coming about.
We kept on moving, and with the help of Charlie & Elias got the whale off the beach and floating free. We towed her about a mile or so west, heading out of the Bay. And then tide her to a rock. Yep. Tied to a rock. I mentioned that stretch of beach was one of my favorite places to run...Ben suggested I stick to the low tide line.
Every now and then we'd get a whiff of the whale -- whoohee it was fairly strong. I was thankful for Charlie's pre-mission work getting the lines on it.
The final resting place. Hopefully. But if she comes loose and makes a move, I think it's safe to say there's a crew of now experienced whale movers available in town. How many communities can rest easy with that knowledge?!