It's a sunny afternoon on the sea northeast of Hualien. The waves gently swell and a sea breeze cuts the heat. A boat slowly sets out from the port of Hualien, moving eastward, into the vast Pacific Ocean. Soon the land fades away and there is calm, just the thud of the motor and slap of the waves on the bow. Suddenly, one of the tourists on the boat screams out, "There it is! It came out!"
\n"Wow! Where did it go?" The guide on the whale/dolphin-watching boat asks, using a microphone to make himself heard over the din of excited exclamations.
\n"Oh, OK, now look, around three o'clock. A group of dolphins. Oh wow, look at this group! There is one doing the flips. One, two flips," the instructor continues. "Now, they are into the water again. You see, dolphins are fast and agile animals ... oh, now look, nine o'clock."
\nThe dolphins were like dancers, with more than a dozen leaping out of the water from different directions. The guide said these were spinner dolphins. They were black and gray, with white bellies. Young dolphins appeared to have pink-colored bellies. The guide said the dolphins were famous for "showing off" and they would often flip out of the water, especially in response to seeing humans.
\nNot long after, another whale/dolphin watching boat joined us and chased the dolphin groups at high speed.
\nThe whale/dolphin-watching business has been developing since the first boat went on its maiden whale- watching trip in 1997. Now there are 33 boats along the east coast of Taiwan, taking out an estimated 220,000 tourists a year. The Taiwan Cetacean Society (
PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES
PHOTO COURTESY OF TOURISM BUREAU
PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES
1. Choose a service that has the government-approved eco-tourism label.
2. Choose a bigger-sized boat. A larger boat helps reduce the amount of boats on the sea. It also offers more room for whale watching.
3. Make sure you have at least 30 minutes of instruction before the trip.
4. Bring ID cards or ARCs with you for coast guard inspection.
5. Sleep well the day before to avoid seasickness.
Chen Wang-shi (陳罔市) doesn’t know where to go if she is forced to move. The 78-year-old Chen is an active “sea woman” (海女) in Taiwan’s easternmost fishing village of Makang (馬崗) in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮). When the waves are calm, she ventures out to forage for algae, oysters and other edible marine morsels. She lives alone in the village, as her children have moved to the cities for work, returning for weekends and festivals. “I cannot get used to living in Taipei, and I feel very uncomfortable if I don’t go out to the ocean to forage. I
Aug. 10 to Aug. 16 They called him the “No Problem Doctor” (沒關係醫生) because that’s what he always told his patients when they couldn’t pay up. Operating the only clinic in Changhua County’s Pusin Township (埔心) during the 1950s, Hsu Tsai-chih (許再枝) knew that life was difficult in his remote hometown. “They barely had enough to survive, so it was pointless to chase after them for the money,” an 81-year-old Hsu told the United Daily News in 2002. “I just went with the flow, some offered to pay me back years later but I had already forgotten
A widely criticized peer-reviewed study that measured the attractiveness of women with endometriosis has been retracted from the medical journal Fertility and Sterility. The study, “Attractiveness of women with rectovaginal endometriosis: a case-control study,” was first published in 2013 and has been defended by the authors and the journal in the intervening years despite heavy criticism from doctors, other researchers and people with endometriosis for its ethical concerns and dubious justifications, with one advocate calling the study “heartbreaking” and “disgusting.” The study’s conclusion was: “Women with rectovaginal endometriosis were judged to be more attractive than those in the two control groups.
Back in the 1950s, the lifeguards of Bondi Beach, Sydney, were not only charged with rescuing surfers and scanning for sharks. In their role as “beach inspectors” they were also responsible for ensuring that swimsuits conformed to New South Wales state regulations. At least 7.6cm of fabric was required over the thigh, no navels were to be exposed and shoulder straps had to be “sturdy.” One of the best-known beach inspectors was Aubrey Laidlaw, who had already laid down the law when the first bikini debuted on the beach in 1946. By the turn of the 1960s, the “Bikini Wars” were