There are not many whales in Minnesota. Oh, I've seen whales on National Geographic specials. And I think I've seen whales in captivity in large aquariums. I've read statistics about whales and seen whales used as comparatives next to vehicles or other types of animals, even next to structures. But today I saw real whales in the channel off of Santa Barbara on a whale watching cruise. My son Isaac is in town and wanted to do something fun. So we purchased tickets for a 2 1/2 hour cruise. We went out in a large double decker boat about 8-10 miles. We spotted the plume of spray coming out of its spout, and then the circling birds, then the water teaming with seal lions. They find schools of anchovies or skrill(sp?) and they swim through them till full (or they eat all the little creatures.)
The whales (humpback) moved slowly, arching through the water to catch the food. Then it (I don't know about he or she) came straight up out of the water like and open bucket scooping up the food. When they surfaced, they made a distinct sound of "phssshhhh" as the mist geysered up into the air.
I eventually stopped taking pictures, just so I could watch with unaided eye the movement of this most graceful creature. I was moved by the truth that there is so much out there I don't know about or see. So much life and beauty above and beneath.