(USA Today) I went on a swim-with-whales excursion in the roiling waters of the North Atlantic off Newfoundland recently, where I came face to face with a massive humpback whale.
The encounter was fleeting, but nonetheless thrilling and absolutely memorable. Still, it got me wondering about the advisability of swimming with wild creatures.
Was I merely an adventure-seeking tourist? Or was I an intrusive lout whose presence could be harmful to the whale? I floated the question by John Fisher, proprietor of the Fishers’ Loft Inn on the island’s Bonavista Peninsula. He didn’t mince words.
“It’s an invasion of privacy. You should watch passively from a distance,” he said. “This is Newfoundland, not Disneyland.”
Not surprisingly, Rick Stanley, who with his wife, Debbie, operates Ocean Quest Adventures, the outfit I booked with, has a different take.
“It’s a big ocean,” he told me. “Besides, this is passive. If they’re trying to feed or have sex, we’ll leave ‘em alone.”
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