Reflections of a Whale-watcher

Reflections of a Whale-watcher

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"This story about touching whalesNand whales touching usNtouches a cultural nerve. An important, informed, and insightful book. Powerful." NLee Sterrenberg, Indiana University "The first time I saw a whale, I looked into its eye and saw myself reflected." For Michelle Gilders, this moment was a revelation and becomes for us the start of a marvelous journey into the realm of the great whales. Gilders weaves a spellbinding account of her voyages through the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean in search of whales. Along the way, she takes us to the desert of Baja California to witness its diverse and remarkable wildlife. She recounts the whaling history of the area and the pressures brought to bear on this region and its wildlife. In the rough beauty of Baja, Gilders ponders ecological complexity, environmental issues, and ethical concerns, while immersing the reader in the sights and sounds of a desert awash in the whale-haunted seas. Gilders's encounters with whales occasion reflections on such matters as speciation and evolution, the diversity of life, the role of politics and science in the treatment of animal populations, and the ethical and moral dilemmas that face us as we contemplate the possible sentience of non-human animals. Written for a general readership, the book is an enthralling, deeply reflective, and scientifically accurate portrait of the great whales and our long and often troubled encounter with them. A bit from the book if you'd like to use it: "Whale-watching is a very personal experience. There is so much time for reflection that you get to know yourself better than you ever thought possible. Out on the ocean, with no distractions, you are forced to think for yourself and consider your own life and the lives of those around you. There are no guarantees that you will see whales at all. But no one can look at a whale without hope for the future, for them and for us. The landmarks that we judge our lives by, the bearings we use to pass through our terrestrial world, have no meaning here. This is a separate planet; this is Ocean."show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 156 x 234.4 x 22.4mm | 527.51g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 8 colour and 15 b&w photographs
  • 0253209579
  • 9780253209573

Review quote

..". remarkable... A combination of travelogue, science, philosophy, and poetry..." Whales Alive! Cetacean Society International"show more

About Michelle A. Gilders

Michelle A. Gilders is an environmental scientist and avid whale-watcher.show more

Table of contents

List of Maps Preface Acknowledgments 1. Whales, Whales, Whales 2. Gray Water, Gray Whales 3. Blue Water, Blue Whales 4. La Ballena, El Nino 5. The Human Problem Appendix 1: BajaOs Flora and Fauna Appendix 2: The Complete Whale List Appendix 3: Further Reading Appendix 4: Useful Addresses Endpieceshow more

Rating details

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