They stood there, arms waving in a frenzy, as men from the Coast Guard tried to shoo the crowd away, shouting obscenities into megaphones. The Humpback whale looked so lonely on the shore, his big eyes swollen and reflecting the mass of onlookers strutting in their bikinis, and swim trunks. The whale’s thick skin was bloated, and there was algae deepest in his wrinkles, and a hermit crab scuttled across the fluke excitedly, as if it were Columbus setting foot upon the New World for the first time. Children laughed and screamed when the helicopter arrived, as the thick cords fell clumsily into the sand. The men threw damp blankets over the whale, and after a grueling process he began to lift up, up, up into the sky. When the whale was only a dot among the horizon, the people returned to their beach towels and hot dogs, and the scent of sunscreen overcame the smell of the sea.