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Two atheists have a religious experience

bob budd

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Why I paddle a kayak

- because you can drive up the Cape fruitlessly sighting whale pods on a drizzly day and arrive at Herring Cove beach, the sun breaking, and spend the afternoon and evening in the shallows off Race Point watching whales

- because when you are at a safe distance from the whales you hear them "spout" after you see the plume much like watching a hit from the bleachers at Fenway

- because the roof of a whale's mouth consists of wide white streaks

- because whales create "slicks" on the surface of the water in their proximity

- because whales generate small fields of greenish foam and then come to the surface, mouth agape, to feed on whatever is keeping them at Race Point

- because whales are capable of communicating vocally above the water

- because these enormous mammals are capable of amazing physical intimacy

- because after observing these mammals a truly stunning sunset seems anticlimactic

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the humpbacks seemed to be gentle and shy creatures, in a group, much like a herd of deer, except the deer in this case are a lot bigger than you. i've read that they share their most recent land ancestor with deer and antelope. You know that feeling you get when you look at the stars? watching them was like that, only more so, cause unfamiliar. one hung at the surface, just off shore. not feeding with the others, but alone, and not diving. just swimming in a circle. i am still worried about him or her.


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