Winter is whale season on the northcoast of NSW. I’ve been staying here for the last three weeks, walking the beaches empty of people yet abundant in marine and terrestrial life. Each beach inevitably ends at a bluff or headland, which acts as the perfect location for observing the joyful journey of the whales as they migrate south to Antarctica
And the roos as they nonchalantly sunbake!
“Whales sing because they love the feel of the ocean against their skin.”
It’s the telltale spray that you notice first but when you keep your eyes peeled and follow their journey you are sometimes rewarded by a breaching display or like a peacock displaying his beauty, the fluking of her tail. The small indications at a distance of these marine giants always touches my heart and soul, animating in me a joy and serenity at the mysterious wonder of life.
It’s such an awesome (in the true sense of the word) to sit on a headland and ponder the existence of these creatures, which only a century ago were mercilessly hunted by humans.
“As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.”
And yet they have survived our barbarism and continue their eternal journey to give birth to their young in the south before returning north in September.
When I returned from my latest expedition to Woolgoolga headland yesterday. I heard with sadness that Japan has resumed whale hunting in the southern ocean. Although we have given up blood sports such as cock fighting and bear baiting , some medieval human habits die hard.
Melville said it best.
“For there is no folly of the beast of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men ”