Monday, March 9, 2015

It's a Whale of a Tale

"Are you feeling better, Gabie?" my friend, Tka asked.
"No, I might vomit," I replied as looked over the side railing and thought, 'Please God do not let me projectile vomit into the sea.'
The start of the new year heralds the migration humpback whales (ザトウクジラ) to Okinawa.  Whales are magnificent creatures, and it’s difficult to truly appreciate their immense size and  beauty until you see them up close and personal.
In January, a few OkiJET ladies rallied together to take part in a whale watching adventure! We met in Chatan where we paid, signed wavers, and boarded the boat that would take us out into the sea.
The boat was large and ridiculously clean, but it had a cover the blocked the view to the outside. There were zippers on the cover the opened into a window but when Tka opened another window, an attendant close the other. Luckily, I faced this window and intensely concentrated on the horizon to combat motion sickness.

On our way out into the sea, we were given life vests and a vomit bag. We were told to vomit into the bag while the boat was in motion and, jokingly, advised to vomit into the sea to attract fish when the boat was stagnant. All around me, people were getting sick. These was one lady who I swore would die from vomiting. I felt so bad for her, and the sound was enough to set me off, but I continued to breathe and concentration on the horizon. Since my attention was focused on the sea, I was the first in our group to see other whaling ships. A few seconds later, I watched a whale emerge and a blow a  large amount of air from its blowhole. I freaked and soon the boat stopped.

We were free to move about the boat and so I walked to the back and sat down on the side railing to breathe in fresh air. The whale did not surface again, so I continued to look out into the sea. Soon, I saw another whale! Or maybe it was the same one? I don't know, but I was pointing out the whales to my friends when they would pop up. At one point, a whale appeared right in front of our boat. I was surprised by its size. It was some Godzilla* shit!
Here are some pictures:

This photo was taken by Tka
In the end, I didn't "toss my cookies." It was a perfect day of whale watching and yet another item to cross of my Okinawa Bucket List.

This photo was taken by Tka
*Ironically, the word gojira or "Godzilla" is a mix of the word gorira (gorilla) and kujira (whale). So, Godzilla is technically a gorilla-whale.

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