Singing to the Belugas in Manitoba
Every day I go down to my office I open up a the equivalent of a chocolate box–a new story to publish on GoNOMAD. It’s so varied, there are so many different stories, I never know what I’m going to get. That’s what makes being an editor such fun.
Did you know that beluga whales can turn their heads and look at you? Richard Bangs wrote a story for us about how in Hudson Bay, north of Churchill, Manitoba, he rode with a local guide in a speedboat and then had him tie his feet to a rope and donned a mask and snorkle. Then he began to sing to the belugas!
“This seems crazy. In the stern of a Mark V Zodiac on the Arctic Sea I’m slipping into a dry suit, fitting into flippers, and adjusting a snorkel mask. Then Terry, the guide, instructs to jump overboard and turn on my belly, feet facing him. Once so positioned, he slips a lasso around my ankles, fires up the 60 hp Mercury engine, and pays out the line. “Don’t forget to sing,” Terry yells.
“What kind of music?” I garble.
“Try your national anthem, as long as you’re not from a whaling nation.”
So as I’m being dragged, backwards, through the cold water, I begin my playbook…Francis Scott Key, Tom Waits, Paul Robeson, Leonard Cohen, Barry White…but nothing happens. Then I remember Terry saying that women, with their higher voices, seem to get the best results, and so I switch to The Four Seasons and Michael Jackson, and boom….suddenly the space in front of my mask is filled with belugas, dancing, squeaking, chirping, and grinning at me.
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