2014 Florida Volunteer Updates

As the North Atlantic right whales migrate to the South Georgia/Northern Florida coast each winter volunteers help watch for and capture critical details related to this endangered species. This information helps scientists track the fate of the species and acts as a first alert system to pilots in the shipping lanes to avoid accidental killings. This blog shares the findings, photos and other pertinent information gathered from the Palm Coast Sector Volunteer Team while helping to connect and communicate the many ways we can protect the right whales and sustain our wonderful ocean life.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Life Changing Event by Becky Bush

I liken this whale watching experience to that of owning my own business. I never made any money doing it but I never minded putting in the long, tireless hours. And I love every minute of it. I never go past any ocean, anywhere I may be, without thinking of the beautiful creatures we are all so passionate about.

My initial experience of sighting a Right Whale on my first watch was something that changed my life. I quickly "phoned a friend"...okay, I phoned my husband because he was the only who would tell me I wasn't crazy (even if he thought it). He was quick to answer that I was probably looking at birds floating on the water. He strolled over to my watch spot, took the binoculars and nonchalantly informed me that no only was there one whale but,,,two! 

They looked like two telephone polls bobbing up and down in the water. Later I would learn that this is known as breaching. We quickly called the team and within minutes they arrived with their equipment. It just so happened that National Geographic was in town and doing a story on the Right Whales. No, I'm not kidding. This Bohemian looking gent began taking pictures, asking a lot of questions and writing in his journal (you can read the article, it was published a few springs ago).

The whale was beautiful and she and her calf jumped and played for hours before we lost sight of them. I felt honored to be in their presence. 

I have plenty more stories and tales I can share not only of the whales but of the diverse and wonderful people I have met and continue to meet. But right now I think I will stroll across the street and see if I missed anything today. After all, "they're here!"

Becky Bush is the coordinator for the Hammock Dunes / Sector 3 volunteer team.

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