The Grateful Whale

photography of whale tail in body of water
Photo by Daniel Ross on

If you read the front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday, December 15, 2005, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines.

The fifty-foot whale was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her tail, her torso and a line tugging in her mouth.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her – a very dangerous proposition. One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.

They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around – she thanked them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.

The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate today – to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you.

And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude!!!

Source: Unknown


  1. Beautiful Coach, just like your whole blog.
    Do you mind checking out my blog too?
    I’d love to hear from a fellow writer.
    I’d also love to hear your reviews about my stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good news! I just checked out your site and read a few of your stories and I really like the stories you write! I left some comments in your “Hello” page. Also, thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words…they mean a lot! Have a wonderful day!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful story and wonderful lesson of being thankful and grateful! If this whale was then why can’t we? We have the understanding and we can “talk” and express ourselves……but oh this whale! There was God-given ability to say thanks in such a special way. I love stories like this that tug at the heart! Thanks for sharing it Coach!

    Liked by 1 person

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