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Blue Whale stranded at Paturau

whale-3.jpgI’d seen the whale in the paper, and knew I had to see! Mighty Blue Whale, washed up on a rocky shelf, flipper poking skyward. By the time I arrived, the hulk had flattened, gravity displacing water support. Waves had gutted the beast, and ribs and massive bones scattered the beach.

The enormous throat pouch lay extended, baleen plates nearly hidden under sand. Beautiful blue color and pale white underbelly showed suckermarks from squid. The stench of rotten whale filled my shoes and stuck to my hands, and puddles of pale yellow whale oil floated on rock pools. We stood impressed by the biggest animal to ever exist on earth – albeit beaten up.

The soft, rubbery skin reminded me of the other strandings I’d been to- Sperm Whales blowing sadly, Pilot Whales flapping, and Dolphins dead. I’m off to Tonga, to swim with live whales!

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