The boys run ahead and scramble down the tidal boulders next to Lime Kiln Lighthouse. We find the perfect spot, right down by the water and wait. I glance at my husband over the boys' heads - they've both got binoculars glued to their eyes.
"There they are Mommy!" screeches our younger son. I hear the shutter clicking as our older son zooms in. I hear him draw in his breath.
"They're so big," he whispers from behind his camera.
I look at my boys as they behold the hallowed, highly evolved, epically intelligent and social orcas swimming just offshore ... whales who've been forever impacted by an era of human folly. And I understand that - now, today, in our era of domination-the whales and our children are just as inextricably linked as the orcas with the salmon.
A month later when I tell them SeaWorld plans to build bigger tanks, and that they want to keep breeding their captive whales instead of retiring them, the younger one's face goes flinty: it's a look I'm starting to recognize.
"Why would someone rather sit around a tank watching a really unhappy orca do tricks, with hundreds of other people sitting there, too...when you could be out on the ocean seeing them free and happy?"