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Met a whale one night....

Discussion in 'Non-Diving Related Stuff' started by WreckWriter, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. WreckWriter

    WreckWriter Instructor, Scuba

    3,464
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    Hi all,

    This was sent to me to be posted anonymously. It is presented exactly as sent.............


    Hello. I just wanted to share an experience that I recently had while on vacation.


    A pygmy sperm whale was found beached near Islamorada in the Florida Keys on January 22, 2003. The whale, later named Kokomo, was around 11ft. long and weighed approximately 1200lbs.

    Kokomo was severely dehydrated, was suffering from anemia, and had a wound behind his blowhole that appeared to have been caused by a harpoon or gaff.

    The Marine Mammal Conservancy was contacted and began caring for Kokomo. He was placed in the heated salt water swimming pool of the Islander hotel during a severe cold front. After the temperatures returned to normal, Kokomo was moved to a canal at the Marine Mammal Conservancy in Key Largo.

    This is where I met Kokomo. We were purchasing some last minute necessities at Diver’s Direct when I notice a small sign on the counter asking for volunteers. We drove to the canal where I inquired about volunteering. They had a signup sheet for the next week or two. Most of the day shifts were filled, and since I’m a night owl anyway, I signed up for the 3am-7am shift on an early Monday morning.

    I reported for my shift at about 2:40 am. I received instructions on how to approach the whale, where to touch (and not touch), and most importantly, how to keep him from hurting himself (keep him away from the rocks and small dock, etc.).

    I got in the water with Kokomo around 3am. I was with another volunteer who had been there since 11pm. This was another person that was on vacation. A gentleman from England whose name I forget. We spoke softly and just basically hung out with this magnificent animal. I was between Kokomo and some rocks. He would roll over once in awhile to give one, or both of us, a quick glance. He would take 2 or 3 breaths every so often. I was told they can hold their breath for 45 minutes or more. Another volunteer replaced the English gentleman after 30 minutes. This was somebody from Dolphin’s Plus, so I felt a little more comfortable having somebody with some “whale” experience in the water with me. Kokomo decided to move away from the rocks and slowly moved into the deeper part of the canal. We stayed next to him for the next 3 hours just floating along with the sleeping Kokomo. My replacement showed up around 6:45, so I said goodbye to Kokomo and wished him well.

    We stopped by on Wednesday to see Kokomo. He was being checked by a vet, so we didn’t stay.

    I was driving to an ATM on Thursday and noticed a sign along the road that led to his canal. I didn’t trust my eyes, because I thought I saw the word “died” on the sign. I turned around came back to the road. I pulled over and read the sign. Kokomo had died early Thursday morning.

    I was saddened by his death. But I was very happy to see all the effort put into trying to help Kokomo. More than 750 people volunteered over 36 days. Many local businesses provided food and equipment. The Marine Mammal Conservancy pours their heart into every one of these efforts.

    It’s nice to know that so many people do care.
     
  2. gmbaker

    gmbaker Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Portsmouth,NH
    271
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    Wow. missed this one before. I must say, hats off to this person for volunteering their time with Kokomo. We all share a love for the ocean and its species and its sad to see how it ended, but I am glad this person was able to volunteer their time and do what they could.

     
  3. jepuskar

    jepuskar Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Chicago, IL
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    WW, that had to be such an experience. I had a similar experience with an ex girlfriend of mine. We were in bed around 4 am on night and she rolled over and let out 3 deep breaths...she then rolled back over back into the bag of doritos.
     
  4. O-ring

    O-ring Beyond the Pale ScubaBoard Supporter

    5,368
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    Was this the same one that Hoppy's avatar reminded you of?
     
  5. Amanda

    Amanda Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Edinburgh
    569
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    Hehehehehehehehehehe

    ROFLMAO :D :D
     
  6. WreckWriter

    WreckWriter Instructor, Scuba

    3,464
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    As I said Jason, it wasn't my experience.

    WW
     
  7. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Divemaster

    17,866
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    Welcome back Jep! You have a lot of reading to catch up on...
     
  8. Northeastwrecks

    Northeastwrecks Divemaster

    2,271
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    Whatever.

    WW, its a shame that things didn't work out better. But thanks for posting.
     
  9. jepuskar

    jepuskar Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Chicago, IL
    5,367
    68
    48
    My bad, i got caught up in the story and forgot it was sent from someone else.
     
  10. gmbaker

    gmbaker Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Portsmouth,NH
    271
    1
    18
    I am still laughing and cleaning up the pepsi off the monitor.
     

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