Scarback

Resident Gray Whales

“Some gray whales do not continue to Alaskan waters but stay off the coast of Oregon between June and October. These part-time resident gray whales number about 200. About 60 whales are seen repeatedly off the central coast and have been photographed and identified. Of these, about 40 hang out between Lincoln City and Newport.”

Judy and I have lived in Little Whale Cove near Depoe Bay Oregon for over 16 years now. What a gift this experience and life style has been here on the Central Coast of Oregon.

Living here on the coast, a short walk to the coastal trail from our home, seems heavenly to us, really. I especially love to have conversations with my wildlife pals while looking out to sea and listening to my soul..

I know Scarback, Depoe Bay’s resident Gray Whale. I’ve been out with Carrie Newell more than twice. She is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable people I know on the topic of Gray Whales. She made friends with Scarback long ago…

I was sitting on my favorite bench on the coastal trail yesterday. I decided to look into Scarback’s eyes and talk soul to soul with her. I imagined hanging with her about 100 yards off the basalt cliffs near the Cove…

I discovered wisdom I could never have imagined from Scarback. But, I’m not surprised. I believe Gray Whales are way way smarter than us humans, especially Scarback…

So, I asked Scarback about her wound. Everybody talks about it and speculates. Was she attacked by a “exploding harpoon,” as reported.

“What happened Scarback?” I whispered to her from my soul. Then, she spoke to me, as I looked deep into her soul. I looked into her eyes and heard her voice…

She then begin to talk to me about a time long ago while watching over her calf down at the tip of Baja. It was when calves born in the lagoons were ready for the long journey back north to Depoe Bay…

https://journeynorth.org/tm/gwhale/MigrationRoute.html

As she turned to head out to sea from the calving lagoons of “Laguna Ojo de Liebre, San Ignacio, and Magdalena,” Scarback, felt a great force never felt before.

Scarback was uplifted from the sea when the harpoon blasted into her back. She landed on the water stunned after flying into the air from a deep dive. She felt the pain. It was not something her mind could process…

Scarback’s calf hid close to the larger family of Grays and calves, while they watched in horror. Scarback was stunned for a time on top of the water. Blood was everywhere. Sharks were circling. Orcas were standing by for a surprise lunch break…

But, Scarback knew she must get back to caring for her calf. It was then she saw something she would never forget…

A large boat was nearby looking down at Scarback while she lay helpless in that moment. It was then, she picked her whole body up from the sea…

Scarback shifted and spun her body into air and jumped right over the boat. And, in that moment, while the wave crashed down upon the illegal Whale hunters looking shocked, the boat exploded and sank…

Scarback continued her annual journey north to Depoe Bay. She saw with some sadness, pieces of the boat disappear under the sea. Scarback was not angry, though.

Scarback has only love for humans in her heart and soul. I heard her whisper to my soul.

Upon arriving to the waters off Depoe Bay, her wounds would be mostly healed. But the scars remain visible to this day as we welcome Scarback home each year.

It is here, in the waters off Depoe Bay, where Scarback and approximately 40 other Grays enjoy feasting on the goodies near shore. Kelp beds thriving with Mysid shrimp keep them occupied most days…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysida

Mysid Shrimp
Steve and Judy Sparks
Children and Families in Life After Trauma (CFLAT)
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