This Might Just Save Your Life

Here is a little gem you’ll want to remember just in case . . .

Longtime readers of The Greg Jones Blog will recall an entry recounting an experience of some of my ancestors who encountered a whale when they crossed the Atlantic ocean (By the way, I recently read a Spanish translation of a lesson on Noah’s Ark in which the ark was compared in size to an oceanliner. According to the translation, the Spanish word for oceanliner is “transatlantico” – – that seems a bit unfair to the Pacific ocean, the Mediterranean sea, and various other aggrieved large bodies of water). A whale was pushing up against the side of their boat, so the captain instructed all to stand on the opposite side of the boat, and the whale departed after they dumped potatoes in its mouth.

A few weeks back the world turned its attention to a whale that found itself trapped in the Thames river. A January 25, 2006 article in the Wall Street Journal commented on the episode, and included the following passage: “. . . whales are naturally inquisitive. Jonathan Swift recorded the proverb, `to throw a tub to the whale.’ This was nautical custom to distract the bottlenoses from nudging the ship, by giving them something other to capsize.”

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