I should have known they got away, because after many weeks without seeing any whales, a humpback dove less than 100 feet out from our rocks. The Rule seems to be: when the whales reappear near the homestead, the visitors are gone. This particular whale heralded the departure of Dave and Anke aboard Slacktide.
Actually, that’s not strictly true. It’s been weeks since we’ve seen any humpback whales. A pod of killer whales came through several days ago, putting on quite a show for the whole family, Dave and Anke included. They swept north in a large pod, then came back south to meet a smaller group coming north. The two continued south in parade-fashion, passing quite close to the homestead. But I digress . . . .
Dave and Anke said their goodbyes on September 26th. Their plan was to move their boat into the deeper part of Mud Bay in the wee hours of the morning, and catch the northerlies that were due come daylight. They promised to come back over the ridge to see us if they didn’t get out. We said our goodbyes, and stayed home the next day—yes we love them, yes we want to spend all the time we can with them, but we know better than to complicate a sailboat departure with last-minute farewells. We’d see them again if they didn’t make it out.
But they made it, so we’re back to we three (“Four!” shouts Spice). While we’re sorry to see them go, we do need to return to our routine. The moose hunt is on, and I haven’t gotten out into the woods much. I’ve been very preoccupied with projects that I’ve had to ignore somewhat while they were here. I’m in the middle of reading a couple of books that I have hardly touched in weeks. Time spent with family is suspended time, and the fear of neglecting essential activities nags.
There are many positive aspects of paring the pod down to just us, but that doesn’t mean we’ll miss them any less. It doesn’t mean I won’t look out at the 40 knot gale whipping the homestead, and wonder if they’re all right. I know they will be. My voyage on Slacktide was more dangerous because we tried to get to a specific place by a set date. They’re not expecting to arrive at their next destination till late November, so they have weeks to hole up when the weather gets too rough. They’ll be fine, as they always are. As are we.