Tuesday, 28 June 2016


It is a word we hear a lot nowadays. "You look awesome". "This food is awesome". "Your tweet was soooo awesome" ...

... are your ready to vomit yet?

It would be fair to say that I am not a fan of the current trend to use the work awesome to describe people and events that are, at best, OK and generally barely acceptable.

The true definition of the word awesome is an adjective describing something extremely impressive, daunting and inspiring awe.

A new top, a gastro pub meal and a semi-literate, 140 character utterance are not awesome. I fail to understand why the population seem to be loosing their ability to nuance and grade quality and, instead, leap straight to awesome without thought of using pleasant, super, marvellous or, perhaps more accurately shite.

I'll stop this rant now with these closing comments ...

...  if you use the word awesome for something that clearly isn't you are a twat. There is no argument. You are a knuckle dragging illiterate with a smaller vocabulary than an ASL trained Bonobo.

Now, where was I going with this?

Last Summer I witnessed something that I felt met the true definition of awesome.

We were spending a couple of days in Monterey, CA. It is a pleasant town with a population of 27,000 that describes itself as a city.  It has a harbour where sea lions sun themselves on the rocky wall that protects the entrance and Sea Otters float in the calm waters within. It has the World famous Monterey Aquarium and the nearby old canneries have been converted to a fine retail district.

It is a fine town city and should be on the itinerary of anyone visiting California's coast. It is also a great place to go whale watching ...

... early one morning we wandered down to the harbour and boarded a large boat. The sky overhead was leaden and coats and sweaters were needed as we took a seat and the boat headed out in to the bay.

It was a two hour trip out to the area where whales had been seen on previous occasions and on our way out a pod of Dolphins joined us and caused great delight as they swam in close to observer the boat.

One must have a very stoney heart not to find great joy in seeing these delightful creatures torpedoing through the waves, but, all of a sudden, Dolphins became uninteresting ... very uninteresting.

The boat engines ceased and our gazes were directed to a Humpback Whale surfacing off in the distance. Within a few minutes we floating in the midst of somewhere between twenty and thirty of these amazing animals as they dived for food and even breached off in the distance.

At all times the boat just sat quiet in the water and left it up to the whales approach or depart as they wished. At one point we saw a group of three approach the boat from the port side, dive under and then surface within twenty feet of us on the starboard side.

This was a truly awesome experience.

A group of three preparing to dive
Exhaling as they surface
You could even see the barnacles on this one's dorsal fin
This one surfaced right alongside the boat

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