THE WHALE'S CALL
copyright 2011 Bart McCarthy
When you're a whale you always feel the moon. Eons of sensitivity to the pull of the tides, to the waxing and waning of the light upon the sea, to the effects of its pulse upon all other life in the ocean, have honed the whale's inner ear to a moment-to-moment awareness of the moon's presence. Never was this ability more important than it was to these four whales speeding to their rendezvous.
The four had already passed through great columns of kelp, a dark labyrinth that delineated the nearness of the land. They were now bearing down on the shoreline. The whales broke the surface of the water, spouting and inhaling twice before returning to formation.
If spotted by any human being who knew about such things, they would have engendered considerable surprise. The human would be stunned to see these Gray Whales swimming here long outside the season of their great migrations between the cold Alaskan waters and the warm birthing inlets of Baja California. But, so far, they had been able to avoid such notice.
They swam in a silence broken only by an occasional sonar click to renew bearings.