That’s my Spirit in the front and her son Solstice right behind her.
I didn’t tell Jon until after we were married. Then one day, (it must have been in January when I got my yearly Whale Museum Renewal letter ) I showed him a picture of my adopted killer whale Spirit. It’s actually a picture of Spirit’s fin, that’s how they’re identified and kept track of. About 20 years ago Spirit was given to me as a Christmas gift from a co-worker and every year after that I paid my yearly dues to the Whale Museum and received information and occasionally a new photo of Spirit. Jon was dubious about the legitimacy of the whole thing and had a good time teasing me about Spirit (saying things like, you know they kill seals) but I didn’t waver and put her photo up on the refrigerator, where it still hangs.
It was also after we were already married, that I learned of Jon’s feelings about whales, which come completely from his few experiences with whale watching off of Provincetown. Basically he sees whales as big, wet, floating sofa’s. I found his views heretical and shocking (I never even imagined someone who wouldn’t be awed by seeing a whale) and really funny. So, I continued to pay my yearly Whale Museum dues and updated Jon (smirking though he was) whenever I got news of Spirit.
Then, to my delight and surprise, Jon suggested we go on a Whale Watch during our vacation in Provincetown. I was up for it and excited about it. Jon even got some pills for sea sickness. Our first day in Provincetown we checked out the Whale Watching tours and Jon was ready to make reservations for the next day. But I suggested we wait and see how the weather was, just to be sure. Because I realized, as we stood there looking at the videos of whales jumping out of the water on the screen behind the lady taking reservations, and thinking about spending three and a half hours on a boat, that my head was starting to spin and my stomach was getting queasy.
So, putting the whale watch off for the moment, we walked down the pier and came upon The Hindu. A beautiful wooden boat built in 1925 with big sails and a shiny mast. Jon’s face lit up at the idea of a two hour full moon cruise which didn’t leave the bay and didn’t go out if the water was rough. I thought it the perfect test run for the Whale Watch.
And it was. The full moon cruise was canceled so we went on a sunset cruise instead. The sky turned pink and orange and a strange green color. The water was calm and it was neat to see the guys working on the boat pull the sails up and coil the ropes. But I’d say it went on for about an hour more than it needed to. Not only was is kinda boring, but I started to get that queasy feeling again. I wasn’t really seasick, but it was similar to the feeling I get when I’m on a plane. I just like to have my feet on the ground.
So, to Jon’s delight, I passed on the Whale Watch. Maybe next time we’re in Provincetown I’ll be up for it. Or maybe I’ll just watch some whale videos on YouTube and gaze at my photo of Spirit on the fridge and pretend.