Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Whales & the Highland Lighthouse

I'm back from my annual trip to Cape Cod with my mother.  My sister from Colorado and Gloria, a friend from Boston, were also there.  This year's trip was magical and full of serendipity.  We were at the water one day (gazing at ocean waves is a common passtime) when we saw a rare right whale playing nearby.

More and more people came to watch it splashing the water with its huge tail and reaching up out of the waves and crashing back down in a wonderful display.

As we watched, Gloria began chatting with an elderly chap about the sight. He identified the whale as an immature Right, noting that the Right whale has a distinctive V-shaped plume.  They have become more rare and are the most endangered.

As they chatted, Gloria mentioned that we had driven by the Cape Cod lighthouse but it was all closed up for the season.  "Oh, I have the key," he casually remarked. "I could show it to you if you have the time."  Of course, we jumped at the chance (!!!) and followed him back to the Highland Lighthouse, now re-named Cape Cod Light.

We climbed the winding staircases, which got progressively narrow and steep, to the top of the light and for a couple of hours listened, enchanted, to fascinating stories of the lighthouse and its keepers, storms, shipwrecks, nautical lore, navigational facts, etc. It was an experience of a lifetime, thanks to Dan Sanders, a retired physicist and now head of the Highland Light association.

Thank you, Dan.  This really made my trip to the Cape this year.
Now, I've got to get back to work.

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