Saturday, October 25, 2014

Troubled Waters: The Changing Fortunes of Whales and Dolphins by Sarah Lazarus.

Troubled Waters: The Changing Fortunes of Whales and Dolphins by Sarah Lazarus. Hardcover book published by CSIRO Publishing 2006, 210 pages with some black and white photographs and illustrations as well as a few colour photographs and one colour illustration.

I've only ever gone to see whales the once. It was part of a 3 day whirlwind trip around Victoria incorporating the Grampians for some Grampian action and then down to Port Fairy and Warrnambool for some Whale action. Whales are a bit fussy and only visit Warrnambool from late May till August and my visit was timed early in the season to accommodate the busy whale schedule with a week to spare... I sort of figured it would be a good idea to watch whales when they were fresh and not worn out by all the human watching.

Upon arrival I thought it might be best to consult with the local tourism office re the best spots for the perusal of whales as I felt fairly sure that going down to the beach and staring at the ocean with no point of reference regarding what were the best viewing spots, was probably not a good idea. This was a fortuitous thing to do as I was politely informed by the tourism advisor that they (the whales) were running a bit late that particular year. Yes, what was to have been the highlight of a quick jaunt around Victoria, ended up being a bitter disappointment. To this day, I haven't seen a whale in the wild. I would like to.

Troubled Waters: The Changing Fortunes of Whales and Dolphins” looks at the relationship between humans and whales and dolphins over the last 1,000 years. Humans have appreciated whales and dolphins in many different ways over time.  A small amount of that time has been in a positive way and most of it in not so positive a way. I have only appreciated them from afar and only in a positive way. This book looks at the subject from all angles and doesn't end with me walking away from the Warrnambool tourist office head down, feeling sad. There is some hope...

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