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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Stellwagen Bank

 
Grey sky meets gun-metal ocean. Due east, off the bow of the vessel, black mounds rise. We expect smooth rubber, but their backs are rough, edged in barnacles and swirls carved from oceanic ordeals. We hear the pop of beer bottles, but foam spurts instead from surfacing blowholes. Captured in the fog that embraces our boat, old sardines and fermented seaweed swamp nostrils ill-prepared for the stench of whales. A spout of fetid water arcs into the air. We laugh, cough in uncomfortable delight. They begin to sound. Suspended in our peculiar conceits, we wait for the slap of flukes.
 

100 words for the resurrected
100 Word Challenge

30 comments:

  1. One of my Bucket List to-dos is to whale watch in Alaska.

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    1. I grew up near those banks, yet only went once, as a grown-ass adult. Worth it, though. Hope you get to tick this one off the list, Tara!

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  2. You are such a prolific author, you bring the sight and smell right to me.
    I have missed reading you.

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    1. Okay for the sight, but sorry about the smell...
      So great to be read by you. Thanks, Kir!

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  3. ahhhhh, yes, especially that unexpected odor. Why is it we never think that it will smell? Great, descriptive piece. And, Tara???? Get up here, woman!

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    1. Haha Yup, the smell threw me for a loop. How could those gorgeous creatures stink so bad???
      Great to see you here, Barbara. Thanks!

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  4. I have seen and heard the Humpbacks a few times. I thought I was pretty close but I couldn't smell them! Thanks, Kym, for taking me there. I have missed reading you, too. I am hoping that we see more familiar faces as time goes on! Wonderful writing...as always!

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    1. I thank you kindly, Gina! Yes, I was blown away by the smell.
      Looking forward to this catching up xx

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  5. Beautiful writing about beautiful creatures. One of my most vivid memories as a boy is of a small group of whales beaching themselves on the shore of my town. I think there were six-eight altogether. And yes, the most vivid aspect of that memory was the smell. The putrid, nauseating stench that blanketed our fishing town as the whales bloated and rotted on the beach. I can still see the teenage boys climbing over their bodies and poking them with sticks. It was awful! But, having said that, when I take my family home in the summer to visit my mother, one of the things we want to do is go whale watching. Go figure. Wonderful to read your good work again, Kymm. :)

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    1. Hey, Tom, thank you! So nice to see you here again.
      Yeah, we had a "sea monster" on a beach when I was a kid. Pretty sure I was kept away from the smell, though!
      (The smell is definitely worth seeing them on a whale watch, though!)

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  6. I love the imagery, the sights and the smells. Good to read you again.

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    1. Ooooh, thanks, Renee! Great to be read by you again :)

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  7. Wonderful how you covered the senses, particularly the scent. I love that maritime, briny smell. I've seen a whale once, but from the shore here in Northern CA. Beautiful... as is your writing... xx

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    1. Steph!! How cool. Thanks so much. I have yet to meet the Pacific. Bet it smells nicer than the North Atlantic! xx

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  8. All my senses were alert while reading this. It was so wonderfully descriptive! My family went whale-watching when we were in Plymouth. It was so cool!!

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    1. Thank you Melissa! I grew up a few towns up from Plymouth. How about that rock, eh? haha

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  9. Gorgeous, and the touches of harsh reality only seem to heighten that beauty. Love it!

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    1. So kind of you. Thanks for the love, Joe!

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  10. Lovely visuals in this and I like the sound and rhythm of your words. Ally :)

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    1. So glad you liked it. Thanks, Ally!

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  11. Really nice. It's been a number of years since I did this. Can't quite imagine drinking beer while fighting back seasickness! :)

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    1. Thank you, Marian! I don't recommend seasickness at all.

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  12. Maybe whales think that we smell funky? I felt the spray in my hair reading this!

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    1. lol Thanks, Tina! Maybe it's their subtle way of telling us to take a hike?

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  13. I read this several times, and still haven't had my fill. Soooo good!

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    1. What a fantastic thing to say, Troy. Thank you!

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  14. I have seen whales from both boats and the shore. Awesome creatures, you painted a great picture of them.

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    1. They are awesome. Thank you, Jack!

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