For as long as I can remember, I have loved the water. I used to spend all summer in the pool, alone or with friends, pretending to be a mermaid. In 8th grade, I joined the swim team, and was nicknamed “Willy” (yes, after the whale) by my team mates. Yes, I realize how cruel it is. No, I didn’t care. Because I thought anything that lived its whole life in the water was the coolest thing ever. I was like a reverse Ariel.
As I have gotten older, the time I spend in the water has lessened, but my love for it still knows no bounds. I still love everything about the water, and am fortunate enough to live very near to the open sea. I remember taking trips down to Larrabee and playing with the marine life in the tide pools while waiting for the tide to come back in and soothe my soul. I’ve made plenty of trips across the sound, to the Islands, and there is nothing like the sound and feel of the water for me. Nothing. Shit, I birthed two children in a bathtub because water makes me feel calm. It soothes my inner fire, and makes me feel whole.
It should come as no surprise then that I hold a very deep, constant love for those creatures that live in the one environment I would trade my legs for. If Ursula (the sea witch, not the constellation) were real, I would hunt her down for just one day underwater. And whales are at the top of the list, if I had to make one, of creatures I love the most. I love most whales equally, but there are two that I find myself squeeing (totally a word) about… Belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) and Orcas (Orcinus orca). I have seen both, like actual big huge giant whales, and cried both times. I am just THAT fond of these animals.
D and I made a trip to Vancouver a long time ago (before the border required passports) to the aquarium. It was an amazing experience for me, as I got to see some very cool fish, plant life, and other assorted things. The highlight for me were the Belugas. They have two, currently, and I’m not going to lie… They’re beautiful creatures. They’re just amazing, so majestic…
If you were to ask me to go there again (approximately ten years later) I would say no. I have no desire.
None. Especially after yesterday.
Yesterday I watched “Blackfish.” If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. Especially if you’re thinking about taking someone to see these creatures in captivity. I’m not going to “spoil” it for anyone, because like any movie, you will get out of it what you need to. I will say that I cried, and got angry, and felt bad because my desire to visit the biggest aquarium in the states was so deep as a child. And even as an adult.
I am so very fortunate to live in a place that honors Orcas. I’ve been on a whale watching tour, far away from these amazing creatures as they make their way across the Sound looking for salmon to eat. Watching from a distance as the pods spy hop, and breech, and play. They truly are amazing and awe inspiring animals. If you EVER have a chance to see them, IN THE WILD, I recommend it. It’s very humbling.
I cannot tell a lie. I have been to many aquariums. Given my love of the water, who could blame me, right? No more. I commend the men and women in this movie for coming forward and telling their story. I feel for them. I respect them. I forgive them. Because until you hear ALL sides, it’s hard to make an educated decision when your connection with these creatures is SO deep. Believe me, I understand that.