A Close and Intimate Encounter With A Whale

Cynthia Bailey, MD|August 10, 2011

This 8 minute video is amazing, moving and worth a look.  I know it's not my usual skin care and skin health content, but for me it's the sort of experience that gives life those 'high notes'.  Watch Michael Fishbach and his crew in their intimate, emotional and close encounter with a humpback whale that needs their help! I found this moving video on Suture For A Living, the blog of plastic surgeon Dr. Romona Bates of Little Rock Arkansas.  It's what I love about the web and social media -  the way they connect us and our world gets smaller.  Watching Michael and his crew free the whale on their video that I found on Dr. Bates' blog brought me back to my own exhilarating memory of freeing a hawk that was trapped in bird netting.

The hawk's two legs and talons were wrapped and twisted in many layers of fine mesh netting.  It had frantically been winding itself like a bobbin in it's futile attempt to break free.  Like the whale, this intimidating raptor was exhausted and had no chance of success.  With the bird's sharp beak within reach of my un-gloved hands I got into that zone of 'single focus' that Michael and his crew were in.  I worked using a pair of magnifying loops, like the ones that I use at my office, so that I could see the fine mesh strands.  I held the talons in one hand and with a pair of tiny fingernail scissors I snipped strand by strand in surgical fashion crouched on the ground with the bird. Two of my friends blocked the hawk's view of me with a broom while they distracted the bird.  The tension gave way to exhilaration when the now free raptor flew off.

We were exhilarated, but I can't imagine how amazing it would be to have a humpback give you a one hour 'thank you dance', close up and personal!  'High five' and 'right on' to Michael and his crew and thanks for sharing your experience with a video. Thanks to Dr. Bates too for putting it where I could find it, wow, the web is fantastic! I've never been to the Sea Of Cortez for whale watching but I'm so inspired to sign up after seeing this video.  The dermatologist in me can't help but think about the sun exposure on a trip like this. One of the women on Michael's crew gave us all a great example of the functional sun protection clothing we'd need to bring - another 'high five' from the dermatologist!  The more we see sun protection going main stream, the more it will be something everyone thinks about!  I'm sending Michael's crew my SunSavvy Ultimate Protection Kit as a 'thank you' for their great work and for sharing their experience 'Saving Valentina' on the web. I'll bet they go through sunscreen by the gallons.  In a situation like this it needs to be water resistant and that little box of SunGuard in my Sun Savvy Ultimate Protection Kit can make some nice sun protective clothing that will be handy too. Michael Fishbach is a founder of The Great Whale Conservancy.

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