Tuesday, July 29, 2008

PRISE Wet'n Wild: II


If you're looking for THE quintessential all-PRISE social event, then whale watch has to be the one. Though extant for only three years, PRISE has adopted whale watch as its built-in activity. When you hear about PRISE, you must associate it with the sea and humpback whales (after of course making its obvious association with scientific research).

Besides colonizing two thirds of the entire boat, the PRISE delegation gets to visit the aquarium and Boston harbor, both of which are top hot spots for local tourism. The event is so popular that all 50 or so pre-ordered tickets are quickly claimed within a few days. This year, the generous program also subsidized the entrance fee for the aquarium, thus allowing us to kill two birds with one stone at minimal personal expense.

Though the moody Boston weather is known to be spiteful, weather that day was superb. I won't use fancy imagery to portray it - you must be tired of that - but let me just say that I couldn't conceive of a more ideal day to venture into the great open sea.

The whale watch itself started at 2:30PM, but separate groups started out in the morning to explore the New England Aquarium. I was in the 10:00AM group, with the blatantly touristy bunch armed with an arsenal of digital cameras.

Arriving there, we exited Government Center subway station and ambled our way across government plaza towards the harbor. Boston harbor strikingly resembled Baltimore city harbor, with banners and flags unfurling in the salty breeze, clusters of restaurants dotting public squares, and an iconic aquarium perching on the edge of the water.

The most noticeable difference (at least to me) between the two harbors is the ubiquity of jellyfish in Boston harbor's waters. If you lean over the edge of the banks, you can glimpse at what looks like white plastic bags floating haphazardly around. Upon closer inspection however, you can make out the distinctive domic top of the jellyfish, with its four circular gonads and streaming appendages.

Before entering the aquarium, we had to observe our unbreakable ritual of taking a group picture. We should have chosen a better place for the group picture, a spot from which the words "New England Aquarium" were clearly visible, in addition to the inscrutable building itself. Out of context, I think few people can tell we were actually visiting the aquarium. Well, at least no one was headless.

Having frequented many aquariums over the course of my long-lived life, I had grown jaded of the fish-in-a-tank concept. The colorful, interactive, and diverse displays in the aquarium however, did offer me fresh excitement in observing the sea's biological endowments. Some creatures I have never seen in my life. I particularly remember the walnut jellyfish - a small, beige-colored organism (really resembling a walnut) boasting rippling navigational fringes that refracted light into its kaleidoscopic constituents. Also eye-opening was the jellyfish with extremely long tentacles (> 3 feet I presume) that carelessly floated in the water like strands of seaweed.

The aquarium was not a big complex. Basically, it was a tall continuous building with a giant conical tank in the center, around which ascending levels of exhibits spiraled to the top.

At the bottom were the penguin enclosures. We stayed for a brief talk about the three species of penguin that are kept in the aquarium. Instead of focusing on the aquarium worker, most of the audience was fascinated with a little penguin that was particularly fond of the worker, as it kept bumping onto his hips with great affection (as interpreted from its constantly fluttering tail feathers). As other penguins zoomed through the water with liquid grace, we could see the traces of yellow nitrogenous waste they nonchalantly left behind. The poor aquarium workers were, at the very moment, cleaning the pool floor with their own feet.

After marveling at the penguins, we ascended the levels that wrapped around the enormous conical fish tank and witnessed the feeding of sharks and other bigger-than-life fishes. A giant turtle (Murtle) kept following the divers carrying the plankton in want of some of its share. Amusingly, whenever it inched its thick neck into the food basket, the worker thwarted its pilfering attempt by blocking its mouth with the palm of her hand. Poor creature!

Finally, our last stop was the sea lion exhibit outside and the tank where we could put our hands in the water and touch sting rays and mini-sharks.


After our aquarium excursion, we scurried to the Quincy Market for some quick food, but not before frolicking in the water-sprout plaza, where countless children were cooling themselves off. Of course, we couldn't let them hog all the fun.

In retrospect, gulping down food less than an hour before whale watch was rather unwise for my normal digestive function, which could have gone into overdrive on the swaying boat and spilled its fabulous content into the grand exterior. Thankfully, I didn't.

At around 2:00PM we boarded the boat, which had just unloaded the previous flock of whale watchers. While at first snickering at those who brought jackets in 80+ degree weather, I quickly swallowed my own uprighteousness as the incessant wind and briny spray chilled my body to the bones. Standing on the third level was like standing in the mouth of a gigantic blow drier that relentlessly hurled cold, salty air onto our faces. Pretty soon, keeping balance on the boat also became a great challenge.


A naïve adventurer, I went downstairs and joined the group at the prow, the location at which the up-down motions were the most prominent. Breaking the assailing waves in the open sea was indeed like riding on a roller coaster. We even screamed and raised our hands as the tip of the boat rose and dipped accordingly!

The trip to the whale sanctuary took a good hour-and-a-half. By the time we were able to spot hunchback whales, I was already exhausted. I did get good glimpses of the aquatic mammoths however, and could feel their sheer power even many feet away. According to our guide, we were lucky that day to have spotted 5 hunchback whales.

We first followed a mother, her calf, and an escort as they languidly milled around in the frigid waters. Water around them turned aquamarine from all the bubbles and spray. Momentously, one of them dived into the aquatic abyss, and in the process lifted its immense fluke (tail) above water for all the whale watchers to document in their digital cameras.

After taking a satisfactory good picture of the fluke, I plopped down onto a nearby chair and amazingly fell asleep in the midst of all the commotion. I don’t know what happened while I slept, but when I woke up, we were tracking a different set of whales, this time a pair of hunchbacks named Nile and Pepper. Later I learned through a conversation with the guide that hunchbacks are named by the patterns on their flukes. Nile had a pattern that resembled the Nile River. I don’t know about Pepper – maybe a dotted pattern on its fluke resembled pepper sprinkles? There is apparently a naming convention during which all the whale experts from New England gather for an entire day to submit, vote, and officially christen newly spotted whales. Our guide had a whole album of them. Among them were Sushi (with its fluke partly cut off), Wasabi (notice the theme), and Giraffe (I can only imagine the implications).

After both Nile and Pepper dove into the depths and flaunted their flukes, we headed back. The ride back was much faster and smoother, and more pleasant to those dealing with miscreant stomachs. After stepping onto firm ground, a few of us decided to revisit Quincy Market and grab grub for dinner.

After thoroughly enjoying the first whale watching experience in my life, I would definitely do it again.

Next time, I promise to stay awake for the entire duration of the trip :)

37 comments:

希望 said...

so cool.................................................

miss said...

一沙一世界,一花一天堂,掌中握無限,剎那即永恆..............................

與毛 said...

Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.............................................

建佑承蘋 said...

艾莉絲寫真2009真情寫真a台灣kiss情色網sex貼片區a圖庫免費影音視訊聊天室線上av免費影片台灣a片王-avdvdsexav999免費影片明星露點合成明星露點偷拍明星露點趙明星露點貼圖明星露點論壇明星露點電影明星裸體貼圖明星走光照真真明星走光珍珍明星走光合成圖視訊 辣妹美女 視訊080視訊聊天室aaaaa片俱樂部影片一葉晴貼片免費影片線上直播情色cu成人bt入口愛愛一葉情貼影色站免費成人電影聊天室ut女生自衛圖片小高聊天室色色網uthome視訊聊天室jp成人jp5818成人網gogo2sexxx369色女人專用成人視訊zk最新女優介紹最新情慾自拍Live173a片面費看

志冠少菁伶義 said...

世間是非,要如水泥地般水過則乾。......................................................

吳怡迪 said...

I do like ur article~!!!...................................................

GeraldF_Rotter雅慧 said...

Nice Post~!!!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

淑慧 said...

a片子安心亞寫真top1069拓網交友做愛自拍免費情色影片383成人台灣情網影片線上免費av18禁250av女優免費影片旺來出品辣妹寫真鋼管秀bt旺來出品辣妹寫真鋼管秀旺來風情寫真秀-辣妹過招旺來風情寫真秀旺來蓬萊仙山寫真集 vcd旺旺仙貝的狂想境地早洩韭南籽早期歐美a片早期范冰冰照片早春小老婆美女 視訊youtube 影片g世代論壇080視訊聊天室aaaaa片俱樂部影片微風成人情色 網18禁地少女遊戲女生自衛影片免費聊天女同志聊天室成人聊天室性愛日記網交聊天室性愛姿勢免費av影片觀看拓峰交友美女聊天室hbo論壇一夜情視訊聊天室五分鐘護半身視訊美女激情網愛聊天室

原秋 said...

KK777一夜激情聊天live show成人自拍貼圖自慰少婦自拍裸體圖片台灣色情成人網站情人視訊網情色留言板視訊美女免費視訊聊天室限制級極度震撼情色論壇色情特區自拍裸女貼圖潮吹性影片觀賞小穴情色片a圖片sex story性愛影片美女做愛成人色情網站性愛圖片成人情色貼圖全裸寫真集圖片走光圖女生陰毛自慰影片色情av1007成人色情聊天室女生自慰裸體照成人影音聊天台灣色情網站色情片打手槍情色天堂成人視訊聊天免費情色網站av網超性感辣妹激突成人論壇情色視訊聊天鹹濕成人網站av成人論壇免費美女視訊

妍慧 said...

河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。...............................................................

許冠廷 said...

tw18 comsex女優meetic交友a片 168交友eros交友ek21交友104速配網成人 影片sex星野亞希露點星野亞西圖片星野亞西資料星野亞西衣服星野亞西開球星野亞西照片星野亞西無名樣式星野亞西 t-shirt星野亞西 t 恤視訊 辣妹視訊 辣妹台灣情kiss色網aa的滿18歲影片情色視訊交友辣妹no3情色cu成人bt入口愛愛一葉情貼影色站85cc免費影片觀看色情影片情色小說自拍aa免費看sex520 net成人小遊戲美女視訊熟女人影片嘟嘟情人色網拓網交友交友聊天找e爵

佳俐 said...

好文章給人的感覺就是很好,謝謝您~~........................................

熙辰 said...

在你一無所有的時候 是誰在陪伴你 他便是你最重要的人 ............................................................

07_TeddyF_Silvey0 said...

與人相處不妨多用眼睛說話,多用嘴巴思考,...........................................................................

QuinnJ_雅婷 said...

每個人生命中都可能遇到貴人,這些貴人不一定真的尊貴,他可能是陌生人,也可能是你的敵人。 ..................................................

婉婷 said...

生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。......................................................................

asdas said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。.................................................................

婷珊 said...

卡爾.桑得柏:「除非先有夢,否則一切皆不成。」共勉!............................................................

11吳dennismattie俊易 said...

當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

PearleY建佑 said...

來拜訪你囉~期待你的下次文章~加油^^..................................................................

江冠彭珮李佳宏陽筠 said...

很喜歡看看別人的生活故事,謝謝您的分享哦~~............................................................

洪淑桓洪淑桓 said...

hello, i visited~~感謝大大分享..!..................................................................

楊儀卉 said...

一個人的際遇在第一次總是最深刻的,有時候甚至會讓人的心變成永遠的絕緣。............................................................

魏江伶魏江伶 said...

Judge not a book by its cover.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

琬安琬安 said...

愛情是一種發明,需要不斷改良。只是,這種發明和其他發明不一樣,它沒有專利權,隨時會被人搶走。.................................................................

佳瑩佳瑩 said...

優質的好部落格,需要大家的支持!............................................................

林聖瑤 said...

我們必須先有哭泣,才有歡笑;也必須先感到人生的悲哀,然後才感到人生的快樂。............................................................

韋陳富 said...

Lets cross the bridge when we come to it............................................................

建茂恒霖 said...

良言一句三冬暖,惡語傷人六月寒。......................................................................

建邱勳 said...

只有尋常才幹,但具有不尋常恆心的人,一切皆可獲取................................................

said...

知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

麗王王珠 said...

聰明人之所以不會成功,是因為他們缺乏了堅忍的毅力。.................................................

翊翊翊翊張瑜翊翊翊 said...

精彩,thanks!............................................................

佳張張張張燕張張張張張 said...

開心不開心都是一天,祝您能夠笑著面對一切!...............................................................

佳張張張張燕張張張張張 said...

累了嗎?來杯咖啡休息一下吧!...............................................................

張佳穎 said...

路過留言支持~~~..................................................

孟湖聿軒 said...

如此動感的blog!!!............................................................