Sunday December 08, 2013 | 08:54 AM
Posted by Harold Johnson

Over the past week many watched a bit of seaborne drama unfold down in Florida’s Gulf Coast. On Tuesday 51 pilot whales, who usually live, feed, and thrive in deep waters, were found far up the network of rivers coming from the Everglades.

First there were doubts any would survive, then hopeful optimism as crews managed to coax 35 survivors back out to sea. That turned back to fear as many pods turned back to the coast on Friday. But the news Sunday morning is that the pods have disappeared and have hopefully entered the deep water they need to sustain them.*

Photo linked to source, credit Corey Perrine

A happy ending for a group of majestic creatures, far beyond most hopes.

About the same time this news broke, filmmaker (and longtime friend) Rick Wood released his 30-minute documentary on sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation on YouTube:

Video link here

“Journey Home” follows the work of the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, FL, and can be seen for free through the Christmas season. Watching the love & time poured into these endangered creatures is a terrific antidote to the stress of the season.

Closer to home, the University of New England takes in stranded & injured harbor seals year in/year out, nursing them to health & returning them to the wild:


Follow their website and come see the next release in person!


What do these three things have in common?

If all goes well, the people who have helped to rescue & save these creatures will likely never see them again.

That’s the point of the wild. It’s wild.

We need the wild. We need places out there that are mysterious, full of wonder, full of life. Places where things are happening day in & day out that we never see, never know about.

We need to know that out there in the deeps, there are lives completely heedless of the trumped-up drama and Black Friday madness and manufactured crises that we call “normal life.”

We don’t have to put our stamp on everything.


* 4:00PM update, Sunday. Latest reports from NOAA Sunday afternoon suggest 11 more of the 51 are confirmed dead, putting a damper on the morning's hopes. Follow NOAA's Southeast Regional Office on Twitter for updates.

About this Blog

Subscribe to
Undercurrents RSS

About the Author

Visiting a Maine beach in March 2010, Harold Johnson was shocked by the ocean-borne debris left by recent storms. He grabbed a garbage bag and a camera, and hasn’t looked back.

Since then he has spent most of his free time studying marine pollution, coastal ecosystems, and the mysteries and science of ocean and shore.

Copyeditor and writer by trade, historian and archaeologist at heart, Johnson’s philosophy is simple: Dig below the surface, travel the currents, make the connections, learn. Then share what you learn. He lives in Saco with his wife and young daughter. Follow on Twitter @FlotsamDiaries.

Previous entries

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013


September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.