Ever since the news of the beached Fin Whale, in Courtmacsherry,West Cork, reached me, I have been thinking about the poor creature.
And if the amount of visitors to my blog, are anything to go by, this Fin Whale has been able to touch many hearts. they've been googling the whale in the US, in Honduras, and of Down-Under.
So I think that I owe it to all of you, to round this off with an update. I've been wating to do this at several times during these past 9 days, but physical problems, issues with my wheels, and a lot more milling in that head of mine, prevented me. Yet what does it take to stand still for a few minutes, and to connect with the other.
Joy Reidenberg, Associate Professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, whose travels in work will follow a route of animals which have either died by accident, natural causes, or, like in the case of large marine mammals, beached and then died when rescuers failed to help the animal back into the water.
I understand that this 19.7metre Fin Whale was weak already before it stranded itself in the bay of Courtmacsherry.
I might not a marine biologist, or any other 'ist' with realistic ideas about the why this poor animal stranded itself in this bay.
I watched a film once which showed how a storm affects life underwater. We only see the big waves at the surface and how these are influenced by the gales above. But how does it affect a fish, or any of those within the group of cetaceans. The film only concentrated on small-ish fish and not on the large marine mammals.
Still, whenever I think of what is happening out there, just out at sea, I immediately start feeling incredibly cold, and this can last for quite sometime.
And what certainly must be the Worst..
Try and imagine being underwater and then a strong wind raging above the water. We, who are safely sheltered from this storm (most of us at least, I hope), but what happens when you are underneath the surface?
Just try and imagine this, how the wind's sound is building up, this rumble, growing while the waves are rolling in closer, while it is building up, coming closer and closer, and louder and louder... There is mo way of escape from it, this deafening sound all asround until it is almost on top of you.
This idea alone, leaves me shivering and scared! It is the idea of no escape which scares me the most probably. Mind you, as I've said earlier, above, there was nothing about sound in this film, which is a pity perhaps, and I know of nothing which can back me up on this. Perhaps it is my sheer imagination at work here, as a friend would like to tell me, no doubt.
And even though it doesn't need to come very much closer to a Whale, Dolphin or Porpoise to have the effects it is having on me currently, because Cetaceans have excellent hearing.
However with much discussions, protests on the many (Navy) ships, using extra sensitive sound/noises, disturbing Cetaceans in the area (for example in the Englsh Channel, off the coast off Scotland, ass in many other places, seas and countries)
We've heard that the song and call of a Whale or Dolphin can carry for miles underwater, and so these sounds of the storm must carry far too?
I think it is best if I stop talking of this now. It really is having too bad an effect on me!
Joy Reidenberg, Professor at the Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, flew over to perform the post-mortum on the large Fin Whale.
The Whale has been stripped of almost all its meat, leaving the last bits for the Sea birds who will leave it clean afterwards. The meat, muscle, and blubber has been sent to county Waterford for incineration.
The skeleton will be raised and used as an exhibit somewhere in the country. Hopefully we can get it on the beach like this Grey Whale's skeleton in Mexico
I found some detailed information & photos in a Forum of the People's republic of Cork
And although I might never have seen this Whale, I still felt a strong connection with it, which is why it had me down so much lately, I think.
On Monday however, rows had already started about which village could claim the large jawbone for display in either the village of Courtmacsherry or that of Kilbrittain. And although Kilbrittain is much further inland, the villagers from there too helped in large numbers with the rescue attempt.
It is sad that these issues have to flare over such an event which grips people in very different ways.
Also: how do you explain to children, probably at the same school, that their village "won" (with stories of their parent's help in this?
I did forget to buy the Examiner on Monday, as I read and buy the Irish Times normally. I only buy the Examiner on Monday's for their Outdoors (and environmental section.
Just after I'd published this post, I came upon this:
it is the website of the Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation
Just click on launch presentation. and you'll hear some of their lovely clicking and also a note on ships and their sounds.