A lifestyle blog about life and living in Southeast, Alaska.
Saving a Whale
July 8, 2016
While I was feeding the kids pancakes this morning I got a phone call from my husband Stuart, "We freed Willy this morning." he said. One of my first thoughts was "Oh geez, did he get in the water and cut the line and web from the poor tangled creature?" My husband has been known to strip down to his unders and enter the cold frigid water with just a scuba diving mask to cut line from his prop. But that was not the case today.
It's not unusual for fisherman to get whales in fishing nets. Stuart told me it's usually the babies or smaller whales that get caught or usually they just punch right through the net because they are so strong. But you could tell in his voice that he was really amazed that this 40+ foot long adult humpback was tangled so badly. "I sure hope it's alright" was one of the things he said to me during our quick conversation. I have a feeling it will be alright, it was taken care of quickly and my husband and his deckhand Dylan were quick to react and made sure that they were careful when cutting the webbing free.
Matt Davis, a Math teacher and one of my former co-workers, also gill nets during the summertime. It's depicted on his Facebook page that he woke up from a evening nap and his deckhand had noticed that the whale was stuck at the end of their net. Unable to free it by himself, my husband came quickly to help. Please check out Matt's Facebook page where there is also a video posted of the F/V Kealailani cutting web and cork line to quickly get the whale free.
In the video you can see Stuart cutting line and webbing and also driving his boat around to get a better angle.
Stuart's deckhand, Dylan, had took photos and some video and I patiently waited for them all day. It takes a while for them to send when they are in the middle of "no where". I finally got them while I was standing in the checkout line at the local Yolks grocery store. Charlie looked at the six pictures that had been sent the whole 10 minute drive back to my parents house. I also showed my kids the video posted by Matt on his Facebook. The first thing that Loralai said was "Dada boat" and as she heard the whale breathe started singing "All the fishies, swimming in the water, swimming in the water..." But what truly touched me is that after Charlie's bath, I walked into the computer room where I found a little toy boat, a little whale, and a wash cloth draped over the whale. I asked Charlie, "Is that supposed to be dad's boat Charlie, freeing the whale?" He replied, "Yes mom, and he saved him."
(WHALE PHOTO CRED: Dylan Swinton)
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!