Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Whale Watching

We met our American Princess whale cruising vessel on the Far Rockaways, where it was moored in Jamaica Bay. The place seemed bereft of life.

From the upper deck we could sea Horse Shoe and Dead Horse Bay, over the water on the left of the bridge.

From the beach beach fisherman cast their lines. Coney Island on the other side.

Yachts glided by.

We ploughed past Breezy Point, a park on the tip of the Rockaways. We haven't been there, yet. No public transport makes it to that tip and it's a bit of a slog to get there. I know. Bicycles.

This yacht seemed to be cutting it rather fine, sailing near the line of rocks that mark the end of the barrier islands off Long Island.

In open water, spinnakers billowed.

And the whale watching began.

No whales.

Guests who were bored with the lack of whale action - I'd say about two thirds of the passengers - were happy: flatscreen TV in the main cabin. Playing football. In the middle of the big blue. It was amazing. And yet people were glued. Infomercials about blenders making resort-quality frozen blared through the airy space. It was the only off note about the experience.

What is so wrong with the silence of this 'nothing'?

I had a catnap, curled warmly on a seat in the sun after a few hours outside. I don't have catnaps, as I wake up cross. But the motion and the endless sea made me sleepy and I woke up happy.

Going out, rising through the low swell, it had been very cold; coming back, at the same speed as the wind and with a following sea,  it was balmy. Seeing New York from the ocean was wonderful.

On the way back in, after four hours, I looked for the marsh that is being cleaned by the Marshmakers.

 It's somewhere behind those yachts.

A grumpy black crowned night heron welcomed us home. We disembarked, and the rain that had been chasing us swept over the island. We waited for our bus in a leaky shelter and boarded.

At the back of the bus a guy on a cellpone was telling his listener that psychiatric drugs had been prescribed for him but he didn't do drugs, except he smoked weed if he could get it, because the devil did not invent plants and photosynthesis, that would be as crazy as saying the devil had made the sun! And he was a survivor, he thanked God for that, But he was not going to let anyone else have happy ever after, if you know what I mean,  if he was going to go down, he would take them all with him, especially that David. Know what I'm saying?

The bus was steaming up. He got off and I turned to look at his face, but I never did see it.

Back on land.


  1. I think often of a time on a boat where I was thrilled to be watching glacier ice calving and floating past the boat. Some people were sitting in chairs reading or listening to music and not even looking at such a wonderful experience. My question to them would be, "Why did you bother to come?" I just don't understand people who are not open to new experiences when it is right there in front of them.

    I enjoyed your lovely pictures.

  2. I went out on a boat in Alaska for halibut fishing ONCE. I was seasick and desperate for comfort, but the deck was filled with people smoking. An ocean boat ride can be an interesting experience, sometimes good and sometimes not so much.

  3. Thank you so much for your lovely blog! I love to see all the pictures of New York and of course your gardening and food posts! I live near Wimbledon (of tennis fame) in GB and so it is fascinating to see lives being lived on the otherside of the world - so different but so the same in many ways!

  4. Hi Mountain Thyme :-) - I had never heard of a glacier 'calving'! And thank you...

    Autumn Sky - I popped a pill an hour before, in case. I wasn't sure whether I would get sick or not - not a seasoned sailor. Seasickness is the worst. Poor you, and then cigarette smoke, yuck.

    gilliecoco - thanks for visiting...


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