Our readers in the United States know what day today is. But for all the rest in our international world of whales, today is Thanksgiving Day, a traditional harvest feast and grateful celebration. It is a day for everyone to be with family and reflect on the abundance in our lives and everything we have to be thankful for. And it is one of my favorite holidays, too. Just togetherness, good food and no pressure to buy stuff.
What am I grateful for? I am grateful for all my family, present, absent or no longer with us. Each has played an important part along the path from past to present.
I am grateful for my friends, some of which I see only on this day or one or two more, and some I see even less than that. Time and distance may mean we don’t see each other as often as we’d like but time and distance do not keep us apart.
I’m thankful for all the time I have spent in nature and the feeling of connection I have when I am there. I’m so content when I’m among the living creatures, the inanimate objects, the things that come naturally, as they are all my friends and family, too.
Closer to home, I’m grateful for everything and everyone that led to Conscious Breath Adventures: the many, many experiences that eventually brought me to the Silver Bank, and the people who traveled and are still traveling with me along the way, literally and metaphorically.
Thank you to Cloe Waterfield for all the help, support and love you have given me over the years, too much to tell, all incomparable. Thanks to Jeff Pantukhoff for laughing when life is funny and working when it’s hard and to Ben Vieyra for sticking with it and becoming another strong leg to stand on. I can’t even begin to explain how important to me all three are in so many different ways but I can give my huge thanks to all collectively for everything they do for CBA and all our guests. And I am so very grateful for our lovely daughter, Lucaya, but sorry for all the time I am away from her while out with the whales.
Many thanks to the DR’s Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources for creating and maintaining the Sanctuary for the Marine Mammals of the Dominican Republic. There is no place else in the world that is like it! Some of that comes from good luck but much of it comes from the decisions they made and the steps they took over the past thirty years. Congratulations!
And of course I can’t say enough to all the incredible guests from all over the U.S. and the world who have taken a journey with us. Swimming with the humpback whales on the Silver Bank is transformational travel and I don’t have to look any farther than our guests for proof. There is the grandmother who could barely swim who had literally dreamed of swimming with whales as a girl and had to do it before she was done; the folks looking to reconnect with something bigger than themselves; the once-in-a-lifetime bucketlisters who keep coming back; the whale and animal lovers from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, Switzerland; Denmark, Belgium, France, Russia, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Japan, China, Jamaica, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, the Bahamas, the Czech Republic, Poland, South Korea and elsewhere. All these folks make up the United Nations of Cetaceans and I am so happy to have had the chance to meet you all. And thanks to you, all the readers of Whale eMail, whether you’ve been to the Silver Bank or not.
Last but not least, many thanks to the whales for accepting us in their homes and giving so much excitement and joy to so many people. Simply said, the world is a better place for having them and I can’t wait to see them again.
I hope your Thanksgiving Day brings you gratitude and joy as well,