A Whale Watching of Sorts

Today we had grand plans of spending the afternoon in Woodinville Wine Country, enjoying lunch and wine-tasting in Seattle’s backyard.  That is until a friend mentioned to us at church this morning that a 70ish foot Fin Whale had washed up on the beach of park about 30 minutes South of Seattle. Heck, yes, we’ll join the trip down to see it.  How often do you get to see a whale up close and personal? And the second largest species of whale at that?

The story goes something along the lines of the whale was struck by a ship (signs of bruising) and floated around and finally washed up in this park.  An estimated 15-20 feet of it’s tail is missing, but still an impressive animal!  It floated in overnight on Friday.  When we arrived on Sunday afternoon, Scientists had already cut the eyeballs out for studying, which was disappointing, but the rest of the massive incredible creature lay stretched out in the sun and sand to see and touch and examine.  As long as you didn’t stand downwind of it, it was fascinating.

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Inside it’s mouth.  Most of it’s baleen where still intact. It felt very much like they say it does: a thick, overgrown, toenail.

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Long ‘snout’, with that center ridge up to the blow hole.  You know all those pictures and drawing you see in your science books? I forget those pictures, but I’ll never forget this.

DSC_0728The back had been damaged.  It was missing backbone and muscle, so it didn’t have the graceful lines of a healthy fin whale.

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The ridged part on the side is what expands several times larger to take in a huge mouthful of seawater to strain for food.

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On to flying a kite.

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Ryan tried to pass on a love of skipping stones.  That might have to wait a few years with this one, but he certainly loved the splashing.

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