Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Tale of the Whale

by Pa Rock 
Cultural Explorer

A view across Naha Port
The waters around Okinawa are home to migrating whales during the early part of each year.  Friends had gone on a whale-watching tour a couple of weeks age - a weekend when I was on-call and had to stick to shore - and they reported that the big mammals were plentiful to see.  Today my friend Valerie and I said "Damn the tsunamis - full speed ahead!" and joined a tour out of Kadena to watch the whales at play.

Fin Play
And play they did!  Our guide, a young lady who was slightly older than my grandchildren, said that she has taken out groups since January and this was by far the best day.  The sun was out, the sea was calm, and and the whales - at least a couple of them - were having a blast!  We came upon two who were rolling over and beating the surface of the water with their large fins (at least six feet in length).  They were rolling and splashing and having a grand old time!

Several years ago I went whale-watching off the coast of Monterrey, California, with friends from that era of my life.  Those whales stayed well out in the distance, but our boat captain today worked at getting right in among them.  In fact, there were several small tourist-laden boats working the area that we were in - having the cumulative effect of whale-herding.  But the whales didn't seem to mind!

Another boatload of damned tourists!
Even though we were in close, it was still almost impossible to get get photos.  A couple of "fin shots" were the best I could do.

The tour began and ended at Naha Port, the place where I worked nearly forty years ago as a stevedore platoon leader.  It was the first time that I had been back to the port since those days of yore.  A couple of old warehouses were about all that seemed to have survived from my past life.

Shipboard Fellow Travelers
Enjoy the photos of my day at sea!
I think it says "SS Minnow!"

Friday, March 4, 2011

International Orchid Show

One of the Winners!
by Pa Rock
Cultural Explorer

Several weeks ago friends and I managed to visit the International Orchid Show on Okinawa during the show's last day.  It was beautiful beyond words!  Attached are a few photo's from that event.
Random Entries.  All of the Orchids Were Potted.
Picture Made Entirely of Flower Petals