The Idea

01September 2012. Visual surveys for whales, but shore-based. I watch fin whales criss-crossing Caamano Sound all day, vanishing in and out of the marine layer. Confined to a rock, the mind grows restless.  There seemed something so wrong about that divide, when your subjects are swimming to and fro. No, to understand them, to understand what this place means to them, to understand what they mean to this place, you have to float to and fro alongside them, and you need some means of peaking into their world.

I needed a boat, and it needed equipment. Which means I needed a clue, and I needed money. The seed was planted, and it quickly grew to be all-consuming. I returned to Whale Point sure that the directors, Hermann and Janie, would dismiss the idea outright. It’s a naïve idea, one that is risky, and one that would ask a lot of them. I confessed it secretly with the other volunteers, and why it would make so much sense for me. Jillian asked me what I would name the boat. I had no idea what it would be until she asked me. Suddenly it bubbled to the surface.

I still didn’t want Hermann or Janie to know. But the idea eventually came fumbling to the surface of a conversation. I braced myself for the rejection. Instead, support. Enthusiasm. Their minds raced too with the possibilities. I should have expected nothing less from that duo.  After all, we were talking in a cabin they built themselves alone on an island in the middle of the Great Bear Fjordland, speaking to me as directors of a research organization they built from the moss up. If anyone was going to get behind Bangarang, it would be these two.

I made a birthday wish that night for a boat.

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