About 50 Pilot whales have been stranded at Farewell Spit this week. Photograph / Jo Richards, GB Weekly
“The place the blue of the ocean meets the sky, and the massive yellow solar leads me house.”
These are the lyrics of The Water, by Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling — the track Dunedin girl Lara Robertson sang to assist calm a few of the 49 long-finned pilot whales stranded on a South Island seaside this week.
The Division of Conservation was alerted to the mass stranding on the base of Farewell Spit, in Golden Bay, at 9.30am on Monday.
Robertson, who’s a physiotherapist and a singer-songwriter, was on vacation in Golden Bay and had been visiting a good friend, who’s a police officer, once they acquired a name in regards to the whales.
“We thought we might go and assist,” she stated.
They spent the following 10 hours serving to hold the whales on the seaside moist and Robertson sang songs, together with her unique composition Orcas Lake, to assist calm them.
“I believed that is likely to be a bit extra stress-free for them relatively than listening to us discuss,” she stated.
When the tide got here in about 6pm they have been capable of refloat about 40 disoriented whales — 9 had died — after which encourage them to swim again out to sea.
“We hung out simply rocking them within the water and ensuring they have been all collectively as a result of we wished them to all go on the similar time.
“It’s superb being with them, significantly within the water, I might really feel their heartbeats.
“It was a stupendous expertise.”
Sadly, about 12 extra whales died in a single day and yesterday morning, Robertson went again out to Farewell Spit to attempt to assist the remaining 28 whales.
By 6pm yesterday, they have been within the water however nonetheless near shore.
A mass pilot whale stranding occurred on Farewell Spit in February 2017, when an estimated 600-700 whales have been beached. About 250 died.