Fluke …

It was the last day of our voyage. We were heading back to Longyearbyen. It had been a very successful expedition. Two very sharp-eyed local guides had found us eight different individual Polar Bears and we’d had the opportunity to spend many hours in their company. We had seen Walruses by the dozen and had close encounters with other seals. We visited bird cliffs and watched Reindeer and Foxes. Pete Oxford Expeditions had delivered everything on the packet and more.

Pete has a childlike engagement with the natural world. He is enthusiastic, energetic but I would not have chosen the word excitable until this happened on our port side. He yelled “There she blows”, so loudly it was a wonder the whales were not frightened away.

Blue Whale, mother and youngster. We had learnt by marine radio that there had been sightings and now we were lucky enough to find them near us. Early in the trip we had seen some Belugas at a distance but they had paid us no mind. This duo seemed to enjoy our company and swam along side us for a while.

One Captain Pool made a voyage to Svalbard in 1612 and reported that the sea was so full of whales that it was almost necessary for the ship to break its way through. Whaling commenced in earnest soon after. Initially it was shore based. As numbers declined it was necessary to take to the high seas and it was relentless …

“So little by little they wipe out the whale until they are all gone – and the winter take back its undisturbed control of the land” (Nansen 1920).

Norway continues to hunt whales but it restricts the numbers and takes only Minke Whales which are not endangered. Blue Whales are increasing in numbers but there is a long way to go before ships will have trouble finding a way through the crowd.

Eventually they tire of us and make a deep dive …

I am left with tears in my eyes.

So much happening …

What a time to be handicapped by lack of access. Enormous strides on every front, action in every arena.

Malcolm died. In the westerns the big question is boots on or boots off. That’s not the question that springs to mind with Mr Fraser.

He died fairly poor. No one seems to have dropped a pig farm or apartment building in his lap. And his investments didn’t do too good. He seems to be the only recent prime minister short of a quid.

He should have asked his little mate, Robert Mugabe, for a handout. Robert owes a lot to Malcolm, he has the best health care money can buy, President for life, a fortune. I wonder if Zimbabwe will be thinking of big Mal as they pop him in the hole.

Malcolm is praised on all sides of politics. The principle is very much along the lines that everyone gives pleasure, some as they arrive, some as they leave. He is much praised by some for his open door policy towards refugees. Few remember that the vast majority of refugees admitted during his administration were assessed abroad and welcomed, with visas in hand, through the arrival halls of our airports. Recent Labor/Green policies can lead only to tragedies on our shores such as this one.

But don’ applaud it may cause anxiety or give offence. Jazz hands is the go. Feminist jazz hands that is. Not sure how you do that …

 

LIT

The climate is changing. Warming is going apace, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, further evidence should any be needed …

Frozen

Although it does seem to be getting colder in Victoria.

Good news for the poms, the warming alarmists may be wrong about the gulf stream. Their dire predictions that global warming would cause it to weaken and bring about another ice age has not been supported by those actually measuring it. The weather may remain clement long enough for them to practise their cricket. Speaking of which …

The World Cup moves towards a climax. I was reduced to listening to the New Zealand South Africa match on the radio. Kevin Peterson was among the commentators, I guess he’s the only England cricketer still in the antipodes, if they had selected him to play the rest of them might have stayed a little longer. What a game. Shame that one team had to lose. Who will win this arvo?