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WHAT LIES BENEATH THE SURFACE

Updated: Aug 2, 2019

... then, not even five minutes later, I witness something truly life-changing. Something that will stay imprinted in my memory for the rest of my days...




"Even now, hours later, I can still feel the vibration that traveled through the water surface and the kayak - my heart and soul, both forever changed"



It is 5:30 am...


I am getting into a kayak and departing towards the York peninsula of the Gil Island. First I am passing by the eagle’s nest on my left, then the rocks exposing thousands of barnacles. It is a low tide, thus the mystical smell of the underwater world of the intertidal zone surrounds me as I paddle through the misty morning.


When already far from the lab, which is currently looking at my back, suddenly I find myself listening to a blow of some distant marine mammal, most probably of some large baleen whale, I desperately believe. Immediately I am slowing down the kayak, so I could treat myself with absolute calmness and silence. Yet seconds later, I don’t hear anything but the morning songs of birds. At that very moment my thoughts are directed towards one single wish asking Mother Nature to bring the nearby cetacean close to me.

Deep in thoughts, looking up to the morning sky that is showering my face with light rain, I suddenly realize a nearby harbour seal is watching me the entire time. For a while we are looking into each other’s eyes, both curious and amazed. When all of a sudden I hear another blow - a massive blow. Turning my head towards north I explore an enormous torso of a distant fin whale, blowing three more times and disappearing into the great depths underneath.


Although I had no chance to see in which direction she’s going, I decide to stay still and as silent as possible, leaving myself only with the sound of my heartbeat. Then, not even five minutes later, I witness something truly life-changing. Something that will stay imprinted in my memory for the rest of my days - a picture of this gentle giant, second largest of all, breaking the mirroring surface of the Pacific right in front of my eyes. It is almost unbelievable how this fifty ton animal of pure flesh and blood, yet extraordinary mind, is capable of maneuvering with such ease. Left speechless with eyes and mouth opened wide, I am staring at the mass, sensing the power, sensing her awareness of me, feeling the infinity of the moment.


Even now, hours later, I can still feel the vibration that traveled through the water surface and the kayak - my heart and soul, both forever changed.


- Petr from the Czech Republic




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