A glorious day to build a whale!
Nicola and I had scouted out the best location and possible set of ‘bones’ to start with on Friday with fingers crossed that the intervening tides would not change things much. Our favorite bones were still there but headed in the wrong direction to have the whale headed out to sea. So, with a bit of flinging away of sand and a couple extra bodies, we pushe and shoved it around to face the water.
The official whale building started with a Maori blessing of the water and all it gives. And then we got at it. We were a bit afraid it would be jus the two of us all day (plus Erhardt the photographer) but shortly after noon groups of people started to arrive. We set them to work gathering large pieces of driftwood and they were super at scouring the beach for just the right pieces.
Lots of kids showed up, too, and had great fun collecting and adding in wood. Our youngest builder was just one year old. We had grandparents, teens, young adults – every age and relationship demographic possible.
The community builders were so energetic about the whole idea that they took ownership of the project – and everyone had their own idea of what kind of whale was being created and what it should look like. Eventually the big whale was proclaimed a sperm whale, complete with spout. And all this was finished in an hour and a half! We had till 6pm to be building in the beach!
So, we built babies. Pilot whales (sleeker and smaller than sperm whales). First one, then another closer to the tide line, then another… Eventually there were 6 smaller pilot whales all ready to swim to sea as soon as the tide hit them. A total of 8 whales built!
And at the very end of the building, a guy with a drone camera came to tack pics from the air.
The project ended as it began, with a Maori blessing.
High tide was due again at midnight – Nicola and I were back at the beach about 10:30pm to see how all the whales were faring. The first fiour along the tide line were already adrift in pieces; we watched as the next two were taken apart by the tide. Going back in the morning to see how the big one survived as only its nose should have been hit by the tide at this point. It should survive until the next new moon when the tide is expected to be very high again.
Great fun, great community togetherness, great spot on this earth! (More pics in a follow up post soon.)