Whale Research in Niue
While still in Mexico, I responded to a request for help on a whale research project in Niue. We arrived a bit early as the whales and research team were not to be found—the team had an ETA, the whales were more elusive. Both arrived just in time for us to participate.
The project seemed to have enough boats until a tragic event sent the sailing vessel Anna, a large high tech catamaran. Common story, sad ending—too much sail up when the big wind hit; 60 knots of wind flipped the large multihull sending the owner and crew into the sea. An amazing rescue ensued and the guys arrived unharmed. We spent some time with them and their resilience was remarkable.
Olive, the head of the team contacted us about going out for a few days and being a long time whale lover I postponed our departure and invited the crew aboard. In a continuation of our local media blitz; Greg’s movie debut in Mexico, my radio show in Raro and now we were seen on “national TV” as the Niue news station came aboard for an interview.
We had two glorious days with the team. With the clarity of the water we were able to see the whales underwater many feet down. We saw spectacular breaches and then eves dropped on them with a hydrophone.
No matter how many times I see a whale in the water it is still a spiritually moving event each fortifying my belief that harming a whale is a mortal sin and must be stopped at all cost. The work these folks are doing in the South Pacific is geared towards identifying the whales and giving them “national recognition” then presenting this to the public and the Japanese whale killers. On the home front it is working, the “those are our whales” spirit is spreading—the Japanese are not killing whales they are killing “our” whales say the Niue or Cook Islanders—hopefully their governments will see this and respond. As for the Japanese, I favor the “sink the bastards” approach but support anything that works.
So it was with great joy that we brought the crew aboard and helped just a bit with this noble cause.. and again we left a place of magic and people of rare quality and bid good bye to Niue.
Off to the next adventure, The Kingdom of Tonga awaits!!!!