Orcas! and a recurring theme... 17:39.477S 178:02.707W

Alex Belmont
Fri 3 Aug 2012 19:29
Wednesday afternoon we were visited by a pod of orcas. At first glance I
thought they were dolphins - but some mutant giant species. They act much
like dolphins and their dorsal fins are similar in profile. As soon as one
breached on the other side of the boat (the first was silhouetted against
the sun so I couldn't see its black and white pattern) I realized that we
were surrounded by orcas. Like dolphins, they actually swim very close to
the boat and check you out. A few approached from behind us and swam along
under the stern with their bellies facing up, then would shoot off under the
boat and peel off to one side or the other, only to circle back for another
pass. It was actually quite intimidating having such big creatures swimming
and playing that close to the boat. I was thrilled by their arrival, but
pretty relieved when they continued west ahead of us without getting any
more playful.

Yes, I imagine you are all getting tired of hearing about calms and contrary
winds. Imagine how I feel having to sail with them... The past couple of
days have brought wind, but of course it has been from an unexpected
direction - North in this case. It doesn't look like we'll have to make any
tacks, but we spent all of last night close reaching to the WNW in order to
make a safe approach to a long, narrow passage leading through the Fijian
Islands of the Lau group. It's overcast and drizzly now, but our navigation
through this tight spot is looking good.