Hey all! Great news! Once again no Dolphins in the Cove. So today was a work/sight-seeing/helping my stray cat Steve day. :)
Once we had determined that no dolphins would be brought into the Cove today, (all twelve banging boats came in), we went back to our hotel. Or what my dad likes to call “head-quarters”. We did some work on the internet and made lunch in our room. Sonja told us about this really cool trip to a hotel built on the top of a near by coastal mountain, by escalator. So we took one of the dolphin boats over to the bottom of the small mountain at the hotel. Waiting for the escalator to start running at 2pm, Christy and I checked out the Onsen (natural hot springs). It looked lovely and it was right on the water, so the waves came up and sprayed mist on the ground. It smelled like rotten eggs though, this is an effect of sulphur in the water. Finally the escalator was up and running. This is an estimated 11 story ride up on three separate escalators. It was so cool! But I hate heights, so I didn’t look down! Ah!
At the top there is a path that leads you to a viewing area, that looked like an empty guest house. This place has a beautiful view of kii-Katsuura. However, the entire view was ruined for me by the giant fish painted on a slaughter house and just the sick joke the Dolphin and Whale boats were. A short way further down was another viewing area, this place was more like a garden. We kept walking down the path and made it to this temple, where everything was painted this bright orange. It was gorgeous! It wasn’t till we got to the very end to the path that we made it to what we wanted to see. A very large view of the Pacific Ocean. Oh. I can’t even describe how amazing this is. Watching the water turn to white as it crushed against the rocks…. the blue sky and the blue horizon blending into a white mist line. Not a cloud in the sky. This is how it should be. Left alone. Peaceful, rough, dangerous, beautiful, creative and colorful all on it’s own terms.
When we went to dinner, walking in my dad and I both heard a faint “meow”…… “meow”… I though I was hearing things, but my dad stopped and looked under one of the cars. There he was. My stray cat Steve. :) He was sooo cute! The poor thing was crying for food! He had this puffy/fat face with bright green eyes, but he was so skinny. I could feel his ribs and see them a little bit too. He was so sweet. He went up to the open restaurant door and was crying to everyone. So I picked him up and brought him further down the street on the sidewalk. I was sitting with him, trying to get him to drink some of my water. The girls who work at the tourist office across the street, came over and brought us a map. She showed my dad how close the pet store was. So I sat with the tabby cat I named Steve for about fifteen minutes. He would lay down and purr… then cry again… then wander a little, and eventually he just sat by me. It was as if he knew I was trying to help him :) Soon my dad came with a nice big bag of cat food. When Steve heard the bag opening he came running over to us. We were standing behind this lightly gated off area, so he wouldn’t be in peoples way. We poured him a large size pile of food, then left him alone to eat and go about his business. It’s too bad we aren’t in the states, I would have taken the sweetheart home. But I’m glad we were able to at least able to make this evening easier for him. :) I really liked Steve. We left the bag of cat food with the waiter so hopefully he will continue to feed Steve.
Okay, My rant for the evening. My dad found this information on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiji,_Wakayama
Mercury concentration in the hair of Taiji inhabitants
“In 2010, hair samples from 1,137 Taiji residents was tested for mercury by the National Institute for Minamata disease. The average amount of methyl mercury found in the hair samples was 11.0 parts per million for men and 6.63 ppm for women, compared with an average of 2.47 ppm for men and 1.64 ppm for women in tests conducted in 14 other locations in Japan. 182 Taiji residents showing extremely high mercury levels underwent further medical testing to check for symptoms of mercury poisoning. None of the Taiji residents, however, displayed any of the traditional symptoms of mercury poisoning, according to the Institute. Japan’s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, however, reports that the mortality rate for Taiji and nearby Koazagawa, where dolphin meat is also consumed, is over 50% higher than the rate for similarly-sized villages throughout Japan.
The chief of the NIMD, Koji Okamoto, said, “We presume that the high mercury concentrations are due to the intake of dolphin and whale meat. There were not any particular cases of damaged health, but seeing as how there were some especially high concentration levels found, we would like to continue conducting surveys here.”-
I just thought this was very interesting. It really amazes me that most Japanese people don’t believe that the mercury really does effect them badly. Though the people of Taiji have high levels of mercury corsing through their veins because of Whale, Dolphin and fish, I find it odd that they don’t seem to have the traditional signs of mercury poisoning. In area’s where the public eats more Whale and Dolphin meat (according to this article), they have higher levels of mercury. This is just another example of how real this really is. No, it’s not going to not effect you because you are Japanese and you “have a tolerance for it”. It’s only a matter of time till the next Minamota outbreak happens.
For the Animals,