Thursday, 29 December 2016
We sail with Whales !
29 December 2016 17 57.67N 50 08.38W 16:30 GMT-3
Every 15 degrees that we travel westwards our sunrise gets later and later.
So when we reached 45 degrees west of Greenwich I put ship's time back a other hour so that we are 3 hours behind GMT, which means that sunrise is back to 06:45 and sunset is 17:30 ish.
Yesterday we had a wonderful encounter with a whale which looked about 4-5 metres long, and had a greenish brown tinge. We could see a small dorsal fin and a white flipper. Attempts at photography were made both above and below water, but we didn't get a really good look at it. Studying our whale book we deduced it was a minke whale because of the white flippers.
It seemed to follow us discreetly for ages.
Then today at breakfast we gybed to head SW and soon found that we had whale company again. But this time there were three Minkes, and they seemed very relaxed and inquisitive.. We furled the Genoa and hove to and, almost stationary rolling in the big swell, we had an extraordinary hour or so with our companions, and managed to get some very beautiful video in the clear blue water.
We also had brief visits from Wilson's petrel, Cory's shearwater and a tropic bird. The sea has more debris in it. Yesterday we passed a big black ship's fender, and a red milk bottle crate. Then today we saw a few bits of bladder wrack seaweed, the first so far, and just now a tennis ball. You can tell it's exciting out here! The puzzle is that the North a Equatorial current which is meant to be pushing us west at 0.5-1.5knots appears to be running north or south at different places. So debris mostly is blowing westwards, but the current may bring the seaweed from somewhere else.
Meanwhile Mark has got full capacity out of the watermaker so I can now allow everyone a brief shower. Having said that we stripped off on deck this morning to get a fresh water wash in a tropical rainstorm. The other problem of the engine battery appears to have been resolved too, so all is well.