Flotsam and Jetsam [23]

This has been taken from The Sea Canoeist Newsletter (Kiwi Association of Sea Kayakers)

A Whale of a Time

Sandy Ferguson lifted this following gem from the BASK newsletter and I have lifted it from Sandy’s newsletter.

I am absolutely not making this up; in fact I have it all on videotape. The tape is from a local TV news show in Oregon, which sent a reporter out to cover the removal of a 45 foot, 8 ton dead whale that had washed up on to the beach. The responsibility for getting rid of the carcass was placed on the Oregon State Highways Division, apparently on the theory that highways and whales are very similar in the sense of being large objects.

So anyway the highways engineers hit upon the plan – remember I am not making this up – of blowing up the whale with dynamite. The thinking being that the whale would be blown into small pieces which could be eaten by seagulls, and that would be that. A text book whale removal.

So they moved the spectators back up the beach, put half a ton of dynamite next to the whale and set it off. I am probably not guilty of understatement when I say what follows, on the videotape, is the most wonderful event in the history of the universe. First you see the whale carcass disappear in a huge blast of smoke and flame. Then you hear the spectators shouting “Yah” and “Wee!” You then hear a new sound like “splud”. You hear a woman’s voice shouting “Here come pieces of …..MY GOD! ” Something then smears the camera lens.

Later the reporter explains: “The humour of the entire situation suddenly gave way to a run for survival as huge chunks of whale blubber fell everywhere”.

One piece caved in the roof of a car parked more than a mile away. Remaining on the beach were several sections the size of condominium units. There was no sign of seagulls, who had no doubt relocated to Brazil. This is a very sobering videotape. Here at the institute we watch it often, especially at parties.