Some Other Critters Alice Never Met in Wonderland

Did you hear about the humpback that surfaced in Monterey Bay last month right next to a couple of kayakers?

Well, it’s an arresting story, but to me the most amazing bit was discovering that I actually know one of the kayakers.

Giancarlo the marine biologist is not a Night Vale character, like you may think, but a real person and I happened to go whale watching with him in the very same area a few weeks before, only on a boat. It’s been such a fabulous summer in Moss Landing, because of all the anchovies in the canyon you know. During our trip we were able to watch several humpbacks and a few dolphins, from the comfort of a fuel efficient boat running on biodiesel from recycled waste vegetable oil collected from Central California restaurants. HA! It smells like French fries instead of smelling like death and it makes you hungry instead of making you seasick.

Want to challenge me on the coolest fuel? Well you could fly from Schipol to JFK using cooking oil from cajun restaurants, a spicy ride.

Anyway, I’m so happy Giancarlo (the marine biologist – this is so Night Vale I can’t help it) had such a close encounter. He’s out at sea most days and he really knows how it’s done.

As for me, I was able to see a huge mola mola during our fryer-oil-trip, again thanks to Giancarlo who pointed it to me. I had never seen one before. It was swimming lazily near the surface, under the sun. Such an amazing fish. I hope it will continue to exist.


Photo by Giancarlo Thomae