Have you ever chuckled, in pure giddy happiness at nature? Well that’s what happened when I went whale watching off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, a few years ago. It was a dream come true to be completely surrounded, as far as the eye could see, by whales. It was part of a ‘vacation’ to New England, which also included a trip to Nantucket.
Nantucket is a beautiful little island, just off the East Coast of America. It was once the richest part of the world thanks to whaling. It’s a magical place which holds happy memories, but learning about whaling is pretty frightful (if you want to know more about this part of history I highly recommend reading Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea…the true story behind the inspiration of Moby Dick…which starts on Nantucket).
Shockingly whaling still exists in some parts of the world, but much is being done to protect these beautiful and intelligent creatures. Today is the beginning of Whalefest, the largest festival of its kind to raise awareness and support the protection for whales and dolphins.
Here are a few ‘whale’ things to get you in the mood for this ‘whale weekender’:
- Read: Leviathan or the Whale by Philip Hoare – for the utlimate celebration of the whale and Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea as I’ve mentioned above…it’s utterly gripping.
- Visit: The Nantucket Whaling Museum (of course, you’d have to hop on a plane to Boston, but if you’re in the neighbourhood – visit). Closer to home…Brighton’s SEA LIFE Centre (read about our visit here).
- Watch: The Blue Planet. The BBC got it so right with this amazing series.
- Listen: Perhaps a bit of British Sea Power? A Brighton based band with lots of ocean inspired themes (I love ‘Man of Aran’ – see this video).
- Wear: A perfect opportunity to break out the Breton stripes…or even better a sailor style jumper (which if you find one that isn’t Chanel, please let me know)
- Eat: Fish and Chips…well we are in Brighton aren’t we? Just make sure it’s sustainable please!
See you at Whalefest!
Where: Whalefest 15-16 March 2014 – Hilton Metropole, Brighton, UK
* Main photo source: http://www.whalewatch.com (photo submitted by Amit)