Sunday, July 07, 2013

Whaling in Larrikin's End

Falling short (2013) by Pants

It's been a perfect day here in Larrikin's End. This morning we woke to the news that, despite our collective idiotic incompetence, a 12-metre/35 tonne (40-foot/ same, I think) Southern Right Whale had managed to navigate its way out of our sphere of negligence. I think this does prove conclusively that whales are smarter than we are.

The story began on Friday at about 11am, Australian EST. A very large whale was spotted by the eagle-eyed captain of one of our charter boats. The lethargic leviathan was languishing on a channel sandbar. That something the size of a double-decker bus could get through an ocean entrance not much wider than itself without being noticed shows, I think, an extreme laxity on our part vis-à-vis border protection. Has no one else considered that the belly of a whale might be a useful a place to stash a couple of hundred asylum-seekers?

I took the picture above yesterday afternoon from Larrikin's Bluff. The Larrikin's End fire-fighting boat, (right), was dispatched to ensure that the poor suffering creature, (circled), did not dehydrate by regularly dousing it with water. You will notice that the earnestness of the effort was not entirely matched by the accuracy of the deployment. Oh well, I'm sure the whale intuited the good intent.

Of course, it is always possible that the Southern Right Whales are engaged in a plot to destabilise the nation. Just as our wily wag of a whale was chased out of our channel, a compatriot was upending a surfer on Bondi Beach.

As our whale swam back out through Larrikin's Two Heads just before 8am this morning it waved goodbye, apparently. I didn't see it. That's the kind of lazy reporting at which I excel. I ambled out to the eastern one of the two heads just after nine to find the circus had moved on. Still, it was worth getting out and about. The market was in full swing. The servings of our local speciality shark'n'neeps were generous and the whole town seemed to be smiling. Not that we did anything. It seems that, for once, our habit of helplessly standing by and taking bets on the outcome of a potential disaster was the perfect strategy. Whale blubber'n'neeps just doesn't have the same culinary allure.

Bon voyage Moby.