I was sitting in Addington Coffee when I first heard (via Twitter) about the whale stranding on Christchurch's Southshore Beach. I thought about making the trip across town and then changed my mind. But the thought of seeing a whale up close was too much to resist and I finally packed up my work and headed east across town. Like many hundreds of others as it turned out.
Sadly, by the time I got there, the whale was all-but dead. But the newshounds had descended and everyone else had their cellphone cameras at the ready. It was sad to see the life draining out of this lovely creature. The Department of Conservation representative said it was a lactating Beaked Whale - named for the resemblance its nose has to dolphins he said.
I don't think I've ever met a person who isn't intrigued by whales - and the hundreds of people walking down Southshore Beach today were evidence of that. Sad as the occasion turned out to be, it was lovely to see small children intrigued by their first-ever glimpse of a whale. I have more photos, which I may run tomorrow.
Cuviers Beaked whale- found one in 1987- now in Canterbury Museum
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