New Year's Day was another day of whales! Our white anti fouling must make us look like a large Minke whale from below. We were joined by several more which examined us closely, surfing in the big waves astern, and occasionally stuck their heads out for a breath. They tended to hover astern in the swell and then suddenly shoot under us and keep pace at the bow, often turning upside down to show their own white belly and fins. I tried to capture under water photos again, but we were going too fast, and even when hove-to the rolling in the swell meant that the camera kept coming out of the water. So I sat on the side deck, with my legs dipping in and out of the blue water, as warm as a hot tub. A whale came slowly up within touching distance alongside me, raised his head for a look, and then blew out his breath and curved under again. It was definitely half the length of the boat.
We had tuna steaks for supper, lit by fairy lights, thanks to chefs Niall and Kyle. It's a bizarre sight with our cockpit table laid for dinner, and the four crew each tilting their plates in unison to keep the food on as each heavy roll of the boat occurs. The wind was strong and we were making 9-10 knots again.
This morning we breakfasted knowing this would be our last at sea. I got the charts out and we discussed options for exploring before Kyle and Niall have to leave on the 7th. In the end we gybed down toward Guadeloupe, and as I write the Niall has successfully got the first sight of land. Kyle claimed it an hour earlier, but it couldn't be verified.
We had a heavy rain storm this morning and all stripped down to the bare essentials and got thoroughly washed on the aft deck.
This area apparently has a rich diversity of whales including humpbacks and sperm whales, so we are keeping our eyes peeled, as they say. We aim to explore round the south and west coasts on our way up to Antigua. Sadly the canal through the centre of Guadeloupe is closed for bridge repairs, so we have to take the long way round.