I have twice delved into the murky or magical, depending on result, waters of internet dating. So successful was I that, for several weeks I was ‘Times Encounters’ most popular woman. I tell you this not to brag (though, let’s face facts it is entirely braggable) but because I remember clearly stating in my profile that I loved water. The ocean, lakes, rivers and streams, I am happiest when near them or in clear sight at least. Puddles possibly not so much though jumping in them has it’s own delight with the strong caveat of the correct footwear. I would challenge anyone to enjoy a long walk home in squelchy shoes with soggy socks on a dank chill day. Correct me if I’m wrong, I dare you.
In my last post I told those who cared to work it out from the clue I gave that I was bought up by the river Thames in Berkshire and it is fair to say that most of my life has been lived by the Old Father. So maybe that is the explanation. Or maybe it is hardwired into my DNA. I come from a long line of Naval servers. My Grandfather, for example, was a giddyingly senior Admiral – as a young Lieutenant aged younger than my second daughter is now, he was aboard HMS Chester at the Battle of Jutland, the last face to face naval battle in history before the equipment got so clever that these days you don’t really need to be in the same water to score a direct hit if you feel so inclined. He remembered dinner immediately after the battle when the blood that had soaked the decks was barely washed away, the Stewards brought in tureens of tomato soup. Even the Captain declined.
Whatever the reason, I find that being near water rests my spirit and enables clear thinking and so I was delighted recently to go to Gloucester MA, made famous by ‘The Perfect Storm’ and step onto a safe ship in glassy calm waters to go whale watching with HB2 and youngest daughter. Whales are guaranteed because of the location, a marine natural reserve 12 miles offshore. If you don’t see any they invite you back again until you do. You are, however, reminded that these are wild animals, not a circus show and that what you see depends on many factors, not least how diva-ish the whales may be feeling on the day. It turned out that the Whales were in positively symbiotic spirits for reasons we shall never fathom because we don’t speak Whale. They advertised virtually all their major surface behaviors – they breached, they blew spouts, they lay in a trance-like state on the surface, they flapped their fins and they dived showing off their immense barnacle bejewelled tails to glorious effect. It was an astonishing show which might have been choreographed by Busby Berkeley himself. The company we went out with educate as well as facilitate sitings so we learned much along the way about these wonderful and historically maligned creatures. You can find out more by going to their blog right here and if you ever get the chance, grab it. It is a truly unforgettable experience.
We have SO many photographs from the outing but this is my perfect picture, or more accurately Two Brains’ since, peglegged as I have been of late, I couldn’t balance self and camera securely enough as the boat bobbed and curtsied, to take a decent picture. I submit it here as my entry in this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge titled H2O (which I misread initially and thought it was a tribute to The Brains). Here are the rest of the wonderful entries for your delectation, should you feel inclined.
PS: Last night, we had dinner with two of HB2’s team . They work in his lab two days a week. They are rising 89 and 91 and the older of the two served in the US Navy. He can’t swim.
My quote, as you might expect, is from ‘Moby Dick’. In Chapter One our narrator, Ishmael remarks to us ‘Yes, as everyone knows, meditation and water are wedded together’. I have never faulted him that assertion.