Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Itilleq, Greenland

I'm just across the mouth of Itilleq fjord when something catches my eye. A couple miles away, the afternoon sun catches the mist of a spouting whale. Sweet. I head over in the direction, and see two more in the distance. I try to follow the first humpback, but he's having none of it. I try for more than an hour to keep my distance, go slow, go fast, get ahead of him. Nothing works, and I finally leave him in peace.

I head south again, and quickly come across a cow and calf. They both had a distinctive hook-shaped dorsal fin, and for a while wasn't sure they were even humpbacks, until they finally sounded at least. They swam slowly and shallowly along the headlands, only doing two or three knots, and they seemed content to have my company. I stayed with them for about three hours all told, thoroughly wearing out my welcome. What I first took for excitement and feeding behavior I now think was irritation.

Sorry about that guys.

I left them and headed for shore, hoping to find some way to make use of the fabulous 10:30 pm light. Off in the distance, i could still hear them, now swimming calmly to the north, the sound of their blows just audible on the breeze.

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