Saturday, June 3, 2023

MendoMoments: A Gray Whale Emerges from the Pacific


Kevin Hofer and a friend launched off the Point Arena Pier on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, kayak fishing for rockfish and lingcod. Bobbing in the tide, hoping for a bite, Hofer and his friend nudged against one of the Earth’s sea-born, mammalian behemoths, the gray whale.

Hofer, a Mendocino Coast native-son and long-time fisherman, told us he and his fishing partner first took notice of a large gray whale and a little farther out they spied a smaller one. Assuming the pair were a mom and baby, the sighting became intimate when the baby gray wheel decided to emerge within feet of Hofer’s boat, take a deep breath, and show off its tale for the Hofer and his friend.

Regarding the encounter, Hofer said it was “definitely sweet” while also “thrilling, scary, and exciting. I was thinking that hopefully, they don’t tip me over.” He marveled at the sound of the gray whale’s deep inhale and exhale.

Consider a stanza of D.H. Lawrence’s poem “Whale Weep Not”

And enormous mother whales lie dreaming suckling their whale- tender young and dreaming with strange whale eyes wide open in the waters of the beginning and the end.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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