This was a post put on Facebook - but for those who aren't on FB I thought you might like to see it too. With pictures.
One day though I did something different. I knew that whales came to spawn in this enormous sweeping ocean bay and I wanted to see them, or at least one. It was not an option for me to go out on one of the boat trips to see the whales as I get badly seasick, even on small boats. I'd just be throwing up. So I was resigned that I would never get a close-up view. Also, I was there at the wrong time of year, January The best time to see whales, I was told, was in September/October when the huge Southern Right whales come to the ocean bay at Hermanus to spawn. However, I went to a cafe on the first floor with big windows that I'd been told about in the hostel. It was close to the cliffside promontory overlooking the ocean. At least I might be able to see in the far distance the giant whales breaching and falling into the ocean.
An angel guided me the day I saw her,
the season was wrong, but my angel had other ideas.
That morning in Hermanus, my first guide
sent me to the café upstairs, its large glass windows
were open to the vast Atlantic bay.
In this bar, my second guide pointed to distant blow-backs,
as huge sea giants breached and fell, breached and fell,
tiny on the far side of the ocean.
My mind took flight, my heart on fire and
I felt favoured by the gods of the sea,
but my angel had more for me that mystic day.
Then my guide saw her – the angel-led leviathan
a sixty-foot Southern Right titan, grazing on the distant shoreline,
moving slowly towards us.
Winged feet carried me to the close-by rocky hill, to gaze down
as she ambled along, her twenty-foot baby just submerged behind.
They browsed along the rocks below and I held my breath,
counting the barnacles along her back, watching in awe
until both were out of sight.
Since that time, my memory takes flight now and then,
lifting over the swelling ocean towards the joyous breaching
and the day I saw the whale.