Nonsensical blog-post title! Hooray!

Yesterday I received a text from the Scarborough Bird Alert. I forget exactly what it said, but in essence it listed a hearty list of pleasant-but-not-unusual birds and then, at the end of the message, almost as an afterthought, was the sentence ‘Oh yeah and a dead Minke Whale at Holbeck and stuff’.

I was galvanised into action. “Helen” I hollered, “Helen! There’s a dead whale on the beach – do you want to go see it”. Helen stoically agreed.

We dashed to the car and set off, getting almost immediately stuck in traffic due to there being a suicidalist on valley bridge. After a hefty delay, the traffic was diverted, and I managed to park up near Holbeck.

Unfortunately, as the tide was on the way in, it was impossible to walk along the beach to actually see the whale close up, but it was possible to have a decent view through binoculars. I was also able to get distant grainy photos:

Distant Whale

The tide wasn’t high enough to refloat the whale and drag it back to the depths; all the waves managed to do was move it further up the shore.

Whilst watching the whale shifting in the surf, I spotted a couple of cheeky Med Gulls on the sea:

Med Gulls

Eventually it reached high tide, and realising the Minke wasn’t going to float off, we returned home.

On the drive home, however, I was struck by a beast of an idea. If the tide was high now (19.20) then it would be low again in a mere six hours! (1.20 am ish). In fact, the tide would probably be low enough for us to access the whale by 23.00 hours or so. I proposed this idea to Helen, who agreed that it was possibly the best idea I’ve ever had.

I spent the next few hours gathering torches and deciding on what appropriate clothing to wear. Then, when the allotted time arrived, we set off.

Arriving at Holbeck it was possible to notice the light of quite a few torches on the beach. Clearly, several people had experienced the same brainwave. A short wander along the shore brought us the the tremendous corpse of the behemoth, with a small crowd milling around and taking photographs. There was almost a carnival atmosphere in the air (I’ve never been to a carnival). I then set about photographing the entire creature:

The 'Throat'

The ‘Throat’

The 'Middle'

The ‘Middle’

The 'Lower End'

The ‘Lower End’

The 'Fluke'

The ‘Fluke’

I was pleased to see that it hadn’t taken long for people to start throwing stones at rathjer swollen portions of its anatomy:

The 'Mouth'

The ‘Mouth’

The 'Eye'

The ‘Eye’

The 'Swollen Tongue'

The ‘Swollen Tongue’

The 'Fin'

The ‘Fin’

The 'Blowhole'

The ‘Blowhole’

The 'Dorsal Fin'

The ‘Dorsal Fin’

Pretty lazy post this really; it’s mostly just pictures. Though I will add a fact about Minke Whales which is one of my favourite facts of all time – Minke whales might be named after a Norwegian whaler called Meincke, who mistook one for a Blue Whale. You can imagine it, can’t you? All those Norwegian whalers. Every time they saw a Minke they’d be all “Hey, Meincke, there’s another one of your ‘Blue Whales’ LOLOL”. And then, eventually, they’d just start calling them Meincke Whales. Wonderful fact.

Oh and one more picture, me in sad contemplation of the whale: