February 6, 2001 Whale Watching
Last week Thursday, my students and I went on a whale watching field trip aboard the Navatek. It culminated a month of learning about humpback whales in the classroom, and we were all excited to see some of these “gentle giants” in their natural environment.
We all arrived at school bright and early, boarded buses to Honolulu Harbor, and anxiously boarded the boat. Breakfast was a little disappointing, but the water was especially rough, and I didn’t plan on feeding my rocking stomach. The children were a little more resilient, although there were a few green faces. And their light bodies tended to get thrown around the moving boat a little more.
The friendly crew greeted us, and an expert from the University of Hawaii conducted a short orientation and discussion about the humpbacks. Then, they let us go. We were free to walk around all the outside decks on both levels of the boat, as well as venture in the captain’s room.
The captain’s room was kind of neat. There was a map plotting the different whale sightings since the beginning of the year. They even let the kids sit in the captain’s chair for a birds-eye view that they thought was cool.
But that was about it for excitement. I grew just as tired as the kids as we waited, looked, and hoped that we would see a whale. I mean, how long can you stare at water?
Finally, at the end of the tour, after about 1-1/2 hours, we came upon a small pod of whales. However, we were a little disappointed. The most we saw were distant spoutings, and an occasional whale’s back. No flukes. No breeching. Nothing like we imagined. At that point, all I could think about was how much of a waste it was.
For some of my students, the $16 we paid for the trip, although considerably less than the usual price, was a lot of money. I guess it wasn’t a huge loss, and not a complete flop, but I felt a little dissuaded and it was hard to keep my enthusiasm up for the kids. But it was fun, and it’s always great to see the kids outside of the school setting. It reminds me of why I want to become a teacher.
|Susan Sensei’s English Lesson #64（スーザン先生の英語講座）
For two years I taught English in Japan, and was “スーザン先生” to my students in Ikaho town, Gunma Prefecture. I will try and introduce new words and phrases for the Japanese visitor to Hawaii. Here is this week’s situation:
You have enjoyed a whale watching trip, but upon returning to your hotel, you remember that you have forgotten your binoculars upon the boat! Call the concierge, or the agency who helped you book the tour, and say,
If they have, you can arrange to have them returned to you. Otherwise, you will be asked to give your contact information, and will be contacted should they find the item later.
|Loco Girl’s Profile（ロコ・ガールのプロフィール） Born in Hilo, I grew up going fishing with Dad, shopping with Mom, and trying to be a good “big sister” to a younger sister and brother. A Waiakea High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa alumni, I taught English in Japan for two years on the JET Program. I love doing a lot of things-shopping, reading, lettering, making jewelry & crafts, watching Friends-and that’s just the start of my list! I like being busy, and am active with the JET Alumni Association (JETAA) and the Honolulu Junior Japanese Chamber of Commerce (HJJCC.) My family and friends are, of course, very important to me, and are why I live a very typical, happy, local-style life in Hawaii and will never leave!|