CAPE TOWN, South Africa
December 31st 2005
As the year draws to an end, it feels like time for me to reflect on a year spent with the Cetaceans in this area. But especially, with the wonderful Southern Right Whales. We wait for them with great anticipation in June and July when they arrive here in our waters, and we feel sadness at the temporary "parting", when they leave in November and December to return to the cooler waters of the deep Southern Ocean and Antarctica.
For the season of 2005, I took hundreds of photos of the whales during the land based whale encounters that I shared with Terry and also people who came from Europe and Israel to work with us and the Cetaceans. It was difficult to select just a few that would convey the essence of the experience to you. But, the Cetaceans have asked me to organize a week in September of 2006, and to invite people from all over the world to join with us in a week of land based Whale encounters and connections. I will speak more of this at the end of this diary, but for now, let my try to convey to you the essence and the joy of connecting with these powerful Cetaceans in this beautiful place.
The image I chose to head this Diary is one of my favorite shots from 2005. It shows the winter landscape: sea, rocks and sky. There is a calm rock pool, and a turbulent wave washing towards shore. And just beyond the breaker line, the dark fin emerging from the water announces the presence of a Southern Right Whale. Indeed, the whale's presence is so subtle, that you would not notice it on a first glance. I was unaware of the whale's presence when I took the image. I was trying to get an "art" shot of the sea and the sky and the rock pool!
Well, I did! But the whale wanted me to know it was there too. And for me this sums up the way I perceive the presence of these wonderful beings. They are "there",and always a subtle and wonderful part of the Inner and outer landscape for the period that they are with us! Their presence is warm and playful and nurturing! And suprising. You never know when you might encounter one of these wonderful and loving beings.
These are images taken on clear and sunny winter days! The first one shows a pair of whales basking in the winter sun. Part of the joy of land based whale watching is that you can drive along the coastal mountain road and look for individual or groups of whales. Quite often, an individual or a group will stay in the same place for an hour or two, allowing for a "contact" and "connection" experience in which you can get quite close to them. Close enough to feel the wonderful energies and participate in a "whale energy" exchange!
The second image shows a single individual, but here you can clearly see the white "callosities" on the head that identifies the Southern Right whale as a species. One of the things I learnt this year was how to identify the different species from their fins and flukes and markings. Southern Rights Whales have no dorsal fins, and they have the distinctive and individual white patterns on their head area.
This image was taken in Hermanus, a wonderful place for whale spotting. It was a turbulent and windy day. And cold!
Again a pair of whales. The one whale is engaging in an activity called "spy-hopping", in which they "come up" and look around.
The whales are as interested in us as we are in them!
You can also see the cloud of water vapor that has just been expelled from the blow-hole of the second whale. This is not only spectacular to see, but the sound of a whale expelling air from its blow-hole is something you will not forget! Powerful lungs they do indeed have!
Land based whale watching tends to be a quiet affair, with only the occasional blow-hole sounds. I have only had one encounter this season where the whales actually made audible "whale sounds", and then I think they were communicating with each other in some way.
These images were taken during our most wonderful "peak" whale experience of the year. Terry and I encountered a single whale lying very close in to the shore line. After climbing down a cliff path and clambering over some rocks, we were able to sit within 15 to 20 yards of the whale. We stayed within the whale's energy field for more than an hour.
We toned and sang to the whale, and just generally enjoyed the energy. The whale hauled itself up to look at us, and then went on with its basking and rolling. This kind of rolling upside down onto the back seems to indicate that the whale is relaxed and happy! Sunning its white belly and generally enjoying life! So, these images are close ups of a whale "upside down"! The two flippers and the white marking of the belly visible.
Of course, whales need to breathe through their blow holes. So this whale would roll over and breathe, and then roll over on its back again. The water must have been quite shallow where we were, but the whale seemed happy and comfortable.
The energy encounter was spectacular! It was like meditating with a Cosmic Master. Both Terry and I felt our crown and brow chakras opening wide, and were aware of a huge expansion of consciousness.
I read a channel recently by Joan Ocean, in which she talked about whales transmitting "infrasound", which is a low level frequency out of the audible range of humans, but which still affects them in positive ways. I agree with that. I think it is why I prefer winter to summer. I am always aware of a warm and nurturing energy that is around when the whales are off our coastline, but which is not there in summer when the whales leave for the cooler oceans.
But this kind of encounter is in another range or frequency. You actually enter into the auric field of the whale, and if you are able you can expand your consciousness to encompass the Cosmic perception of the whale. It is an incredible "high" that transports you beyond time and space into an infinite energy that cannot be fully understood by the mind, but only integrated by the psyche at different levels of understanding and comprehension.
Some of the fun things that are also involved in land based Cetacean encounters!
We begin our Encounter Sessions with a ritual of some kind that focusses the mind and allows us to "call" the Cetacean energies to us!
The first image was taken at a spot in Hermanus called "Kwaaiwater" or "Angry Water". Terry is sitting on the rocks at the edge of a cliff, and behind her a cloud of water is thrown into the air as a wave breaks!
We created a small medicine wheel with crystals and then connected with the whale consciousness. We did in fact encounter a group of whales at that spot a short while later.
The second image was taken at Grotto Beach in Hermanus. Here Terry has created a Labyrinth, and is walking the spirals as a way of focusing and connecting with the whales. We had our "peak" encounter on the same day as we created this labyrinth.
And now, here is some fun with Labyrinths. We were joined, in July, by Irena from Berlin, who appears with Terry in these images.
Dancing the spirals is a fun way to connect with the creative energies. The Cetaceans love playfulness and fun and the energy of the Magical Child!
In September, we were joined by Oznat who came from Israel to visit South Africa and spend time with the whales.
In the first image, Terry and Oznat are seen sitting on the rocks watching the whales breaching in the bay at Hermanus. Breaching is the name given to that joyous behavior when the whales leap out of the water. Southern Right Whales breach "backwards", in that they emerge from the water and then fall backwards with a thunderous crash!
In the second image, Oznat spends some quiet time meditating on the rocks, connecting with the sea and the sky and the Cetacean energy.
And now, just to add that although our purpose is the Cetaceans, there are many other creatures to be encountered and also some of the most beautiful coastal scenery and vegetation in the world. Not for nothing is our area called "the fairest Cape in the whole circumference of the Globe"! Francis Drake, if I recall!
Here a little "Dassie" or Rock Rabbit, suns itself on the rocks overlooking the ocean.
And a seagull poses for a photograph, with the stormy clouds over Hermanus as the background!
Some of the bright and cheerful "fynbos" daisies that are found along the coast. "Fynbos" is a Floral Kingdom that is unique to the Western Cape area of the Planet.
And a view from the coastal road, over the ocean and back towards the mountains, in the warm winter sunshine with a cool mist lying over the ocean.
Most of the prime whale watching area falls within a proclaimed "biosphere reserve", which means the area is protected from development on the one hand, and poachers on the other. And so we are able to enjoy an almost pristine mountain and coastal environment that is precious to many people, like myself, who are passionate about the unspoilt beauty of nature to be found in this part of the world.
The main tourist season, with the Hermanus "Whale Festival" happens in late September and October, so by organizing our week for early September there will be a guaranteed chance of encountering whales without encountering too many tourists.
Those who join us will stay in Kleinmond, a small coastal town between Betty's Bay and Hermanus. It is not as popular and glamorous as Hermanus, but it is situated in the middle of the whale watching area, and there are usually whales in the Bay itself.
Workshops and sessions will be held in Hangklip in a wonderful spacious house overlooking the Ocean that has been offered to us.
There will be excursions to connect with the whales, including a boat trip that will bring you right up close to the whales on the Ocean. In South Africa it is illegal to approach whales closely. However, what the boat owners do is stop the boat within the legal distance. Whales being curious, they usually swim over for a closer look, which is enjoyed by both sides! And doesn't break the law!
If you are interested in joining us and would like to know more about the trip, please contact me at [email protected]
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Click here for Diary No 1.No.2. No.3. No.4. No.5. No.6.
© 2005-6 Celia Fenn
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