Christopher Kovacs - Fine Art
June 25, 2024   1:51 pm NL Time

There Be Whales Here!

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There Be Whales Here!


Status of Original Painting – For Sale

All prices are in Canadian dollars

Size: 16.5 x 20  inches

Price: Inquire

Medium: Watercolour on 300 lb Arches


Standing on St. Vincent’s Beach, which is located along the southern shore of the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland, you can see scenes like this of pods of humpback whales and their calves cavorting about. They come chasing capelin, which are small silver fish from the smelt family that spawn on Newfoundland shores each summer. The beach is on a narrow strip of land between a freshwater lake (Holyrood Pond) on the northeast side, and the cold Atlantic Ocean on the southwest side (click on this link to see). Just beyond the beach the depth drops off very quickly, and that enables the whales to come within a few meters of the shoreline. Freshwater mixing with ocean water is thought to attract them, but they are mainly chasing the tasty capelin that “roll” in large numbers to be caught not only by the whales, but by sea birds and hungry Newfoundlanders with their capelin nets. Word that the capelin are rolling travels fast in this province!

It’s quite peaceful to just sit, watch the whales, and listen to the waves and seabirds. The beach itself is about 2 kilometers long and made up largely of loose round stones, which makes it difficult to walk upon. I’ve seen people spot the whales off to the left and start slowly trudging in that direction, but well before they’ve reached the other end of the beach, the whales are off to the right side again. Best to stay put and wait for the whales to come to you. For photos a decent telephoto camera is needed and you must be fast on the draw, because a whale will breach for just a couple of seconds before it’s gone! If someone exclaims “over there!” the whale will be gone well before you can direct your lens. I’ve obtained many more photos of the after-splash than of whales, but with patience I’ve eventually obtained the photos I wanted.

The title of this painting references Montgomery Scott (“Scotty”) who exclaims, “Admiral, there be whales here!” in one of my favorite films, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

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