can we help
+44(0)1983 296060
+1 757-788-8872
tell me moreJoin a rally


Mary Jo - Arnold

Once again the towed impeller for the water generator has been a big hit with the more discerning of the Ocean’s inhabitants.
The array consists of a skinny missile-shaped device, about two feet long, black-painted metal (shiny ones kept getting taken by the big sharks in the past).
Attached by a thirty meter line to the conical, leading end it, has a fixed propeller at the aft end (to make it turn).
The other end of the line is secured to the actual generator spindle which hangs from the stern of the boat.
The impeller spins in the water which twists the line, which turns the spindle and, Eureka – you have power. Ingenious – and that is precisely what the local whales and dolphins seem to think...
This time it it was Arnold’s turn.
Arnold is a whale, more of a big overgrown dolphin really, about 25 feet long, dark gray back, with a ridiculously small dorsal fin on that back of his, almost comical given the sheer bulk of himself;
a sleek, muscular, broad-shouldered, powerful  bruiser with white pectoral fins and a snowy white belly.
Quite breathtaking in the way that he would surf down a wave, accelerating as he went to flank speed, then veer across to the boat, approaching fast. A powerful swimmer, easily able to overhaul the boat, shoot ahead, turn and do a circle around us – all at fourteen knots.
But he would always return to the impeller behind the boat, surge alongside and then keep station with it while he gave it the old eyeball, no doubt wondering at the array, what it might be; how it made that vibration – what, in fact, was it?
There was something not entirely threatening about him, even though he was circling the boat, as if hunting us; charging up to us and then going right under the boat before circling and having another run at us. I ought to have felt a bit worried but in fact I felt that there was something a bit staged about him as though he couldn’t quite bring himself to do the dirty deed, couldn’t quite commit to aggression.
I felt a certain kinship with him; there he was, swimming all alone, no other company - rather lonely he seemed to me. An almost apologetic, shy and diffident personality; too big to be a dolphin and not killer enough to be a killer whale. A sort of outcast, an ocean hobo with not really a mean bone in his body. At one point he stuck his head out of the water to get better look at us and the boat and though he displayed the jaw and the teeth of an Orca, the overall look was of a hangdog nature, gentle, sheepish – rather sweet actually; interested in us, but understanding if we should not like to play... but if we should just throw that ball he would have raced off to fetch it and bring it back, like a huge friendly dog – about the size of a whale.
He stayed with us, circling, surfing, breathing and cruising, for three hours, seldom further away than fifty, a hundred yards and then.... he was gone.
Further out and into this enormous stretch of moving water that seems almost to have no limits, certainly no boundaries, somewhere, Arnold is swimming.
I count him as a friend; I wonder how he is doing, will he find a mate? Start a family? How will he handle encounters with real Killer whales? Will he be ok? I hope to see him again one day, when I have more time; when I could stop and chat, swim and commune. Throw that ball....
Gotta go..
Love you all.

Previous | Next