Tuesday, June 29, 2021

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Beluga Whale at Sea World (Taken 6.28.21)

Despite a heat advisory for our region, today was overcast and though a little muggy, wasn't unbearable as in many other parts of the country and the world right now. I can't stop thinking about the famines happening in Madagascar and Tigray region while we're so spoiled here in the US. The World Food Program is barely asking for $80M dollars to save lives while Bezos builds a $500M yacht. It's outrageous and obscene. But I digress. 

After Nova got out of her ensemble group this afternoon, she and Darren agreed to go back to Sea World with me. I'm obsessed. I can't help it. They sucked me in their advertising when I was a kid and I could never repel their advances. Even after Blackfish. Even through their mismanagement over the years, or their abuse of the City Charter, and let's be honest, not paying a decent lease for the acres of property where they operate. But I can't help it.

I've been thinking about why this is and can only come up with the fact that it's because without a park like Sea World, I would never otherwise experience these animals in my lifetime. I can get seasick on a rocking chair, so whale-watching or deep-sea excursions, or an Alaska cruise aren't options for me. I've snorkeled a handful of times in Hawaii and La Jolla but am not super great at that either, so finding San Diego's elusive sea turtles is probably not gonna happen for me, either. That's definitely some variation of privilege to feel like I deserve to see these animals up close, but such is this complicated life. 

So we went and I always forget this, but the weekdays before a holiday are the best days because the tourists are all waiting to blow their loads for the holidays. By Sea World standards, the park was empty. Nova got to ride Electric Eel three times and Manta twice. I sat inside the penguin encounter for 20 minutes by myself before anyone else even came in. I was in the Wild Arctic with a beluga whale coming right up to me at the glass with nobody else around for a solid 10-15 minutes. I was playing with a loggerhead who followed me before anyone else came into the Turtle aquarium. And at the end of the night while we waited for Nova to finish her rollercoaster rides, I was the only one at the orca tanks and one of them, came over and chilled by me for 15 minutes, which I thought was just coincidence until I left to the dolphins and came back and he was in the middle of the pool and when I squeaked at him, he came back over until the fireworks were over. It was magical and I'm a conflicted human in a complicated world. Just trying to find the upsides when sometimes all we can see are the downs. 

Be safe out there. 

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