# of pages written:a few sentences(too tired after whale watching)
# of times I’ve checked email/facebook: 3
# of days left to write 1st draft: 149
Today Nate and I woke up early and launched his little fishing boat out of the Truro dock. The morning was dreadfully foggy, and as we set off into the damp, gray mist, Nate handed me a horn. “If you see a boat, just press this button,” he said, “and let them know we’re here.” We headed out into the bay, intending to round the tip of the Cape and reach the ocean waters just off Provincetown, where, Nate said, the whales were likely to be.
It was like sailing through a cloud. My sunscreen dripped off my face, and when I looked down, my arms were beaded with droplets, my t-shirt was soaked. I blinked to keep the mist out of my eyes. The brown sea birds floated nearby, ducking their long necks under the waves then flying away, pedaling their webbed feet along the surface of the water. A large boat materialize out of the fog, and just as quickly was swallowed up by it. A sandbar suddenly appeared on our right, and Nate veered the boat left. Later, we heard the low moan of a lighthouse in the distance, but we couldn’t see it – we couldn’t even see the land. I wondered if this was a metaphor for life. We sail through foggy waters, unaware of the invisible secrets that float so close to us in the mist.
As we rounded the Cape into the cold ocean waters, the fog lessened and the sun began to burn its way through the white clouds. We headed to deeper waters, and Nate pointed to a large, green circle in the water. “Watch,” he said, and sure enough, an enormous humpback whale surfaced. We saw the length of his long, dark body before he hunkered gracefully back into the water, flipping his white-speckled tail, as if for show.
He came up again, closer this time, showing his knobby, prehistoric head and opening his mouth. The seabirds flocked to him, pecking at his head, trying to snatch the sand eels from his cavernous mouth. He ignored them and dove slowly back down.
“Where’d he go?” I asked Nate, scanning the expanse of flat water. Then I saw the green circle, only fifteen feet from our little fishing boat. “Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh.” I was beside myself with excitement, although it occurred to me that the whale could easily knock us over with one flick of his giant tail.
The whale surfaced right next to our boat, and he was beautiful. He came up quietly and carefully, and I held my hands in a prayer position at my chest, grinning stupidly. The whale lumbered back down into the blue water, and I gasped as he swam underneath our boat.
The fog and confusion of the morning forgotten, I thought, maybe my life is like this. I’m just one little person out in the vast, open waters, but there are big, beautiful things swimming just below the surface. And sometimes, when I’m very lucky, I get to see one.