To marvel or run?

Would this excite or terrify you?

(I found this video on a great blog called 2BAware.  The whale breaches 26 seconds into the video.  The other half a minute records the response of the woman on board.)

A number of commenters on the video’s Youtube page sound unsympathetic to the woman’s distress.  They were apparently left by people who don’t yet know that breaching whales can and do sometimes land on boats.  Case in point:  An incident off Cape Town earlier this year.  (Amazing video. The whale and the couple on board were evidently okay but the yacht wasn’t.)


(This photo is part of a slideshow at ABC News.)

The hubster and I are big fans of extreme survival literature and it was during the reading of  some of these books that I first discovered that collisions between boats and whales really do occur.  There’s also the Large Whale Ship Strike Database compiled by the National Marine Fisheries Service that makes for some fun/disturbing reading if you’re into that kind of thing.

Maybe that’s why I felt a wave of compassion for the woman in the video, because I knew her fears weren’t entirely unjustified.

I couldn’t help but wonder what MY response would be in that kind of situation.  Would my awe at the spectacle outweigh my flight response?  Maybe a little of both?  Hard to know unless it happens I suppose.

I’m pretty sure of one thing though…if fear DID win out, I wouldn’t sound nearly as nice as this poor woman does.  I’d be swearing like a sailor and that camcorder would be in serious danger of going overboard.  (My flight and fight responses tend to get all mixed up in a crisis.)

copyright Dia Osborn 2012

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