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In March of 2019 I went out as crew to pack herring for the spring fishery. When we were cleaning the deck and lifting a steel structure with the winch, there was an old whale vertebrae hiding. Honestly I had no idea what it was at first, but Deane figured it out and I was thrilled. Somewhere down the line I knew that I would find a way to use it in creating and honour the whale and educate at the same time.
This discovery led me to learn about what is called "Whale Falls", these occur when a whale dies at sea and sinks to the bottom at depth. They create not only carbon sinks, but also complete ecosystems where over 40 species are only ever to have been found. The whale supplies food and nutrients for decades. The bone that we found must have been on the bottom for a very long time because the outer edges were eroded and even the marrow had been cleaned by microbes.
I decided to carve into beach stones and inlay pieces of the vertebrae. Some have remnants of the hardened marrow. I take the bits back to the ocean and offer thanks after making my pieces.
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