Oct 19, 2008

What's 'A Matter You?

Over the years I have called in various sea creatures by rubbing a finger on my mat to make the acoustic envelope vibrate with cetacean-like sounds. Seals, otters, gray whales, pods of dolphins, penguins... have all come around to check out this unique bladder instrument. And today -- an orca took interest in my mat music!

I was sitting out the back waiting for a wave as two orcas, 25' and 15', lazily swam by about 20 yards away. Foolishly, I strummed my mat, and junior instantly veered straight toward me before submerging. "Uh oh." A series of boils on the surface of the somewhat murky water advanced in my direction. Upwellings from the orca's massive tail. "Okay, remain calm."

The boils closed in on me. "Too late to do anything now." A pool of turbulent water rose up directly on my righthand side. "It's just like a really big dolphin." Another upwelling appeared to my left. "What the hell did I do that for?" Then the "footprints" trailed away until the curious young orca came up for air and calmly rejoined the adult. "What's the matter with me, anyway?"

Of course it's wise to be friendly toward anyone much bigger than oneself, but it wasn't very bright of me to call over someone who could eat me in four bites, was it?

1 comment:

Dale said...


One sunny afternoon I'd been surfing a long cobblestone point break on an island in British Columbia.

Toward evening I visited with some campers who'd been reclining on a nearby shore earlier in the day.

They nervously told me a story about how an Orca had suddenly surfaced in shallow water ("with a six foot tall dorsal fin")... and nearly beached itself trying to reach them...

Take care