Date 1200 – Sunday 31 July 2011 (UTC -4)
After 13 months away we are returning to the United
Kingdom for a break, flying out from Boston
on Friday 5 August and flying back into Boston
on Sunday 4 September. The boat is being lifted out of the water on Thursday
and stored ashore. The blog will resume in September.
Before closing off let me assure you that we have not been sitting
around doing nothing since we arrived back in Gloucester, well not all of the time.
General cleaning the boat up and catching up on jobs fills quite an amount of
time as does the agony of working out what to take back home that we have not
used, mainly a Mate problem and how to get through the remaining stores in the
freezer and fridge. Yesterday for example we polished all of the deck area to
restore the shiny bits to their former glory and finished the day off with our
last sirloin from Las Palmas
on the BBQ. The sirloins have been more like fillet and this one cooked very
well; served sliced with a freshly made béarnaise sauce, very chateaubriand.
The real excitement of the week however has been a whale watching trip
on Friday. We have had one sighting of two whales on our way up to Maine but that was a
fleeting glimpse of what were undoubtedly fin whales. We decided that we would
like to try and see more so signed up with Captain Bill’s trip that
promised two naturalists from the Whale Centre of New England. The trip was
two hours out to the Stellwagen Bank off Cape Cod,
an hour on site and two hours back. No guarantees of a sighting but a free
trip if no whales.
Well the guarantee was not required as we had what was described by the
naturist as the best trip of the season.
Our first sighting was a
humpback called ‘Thumper’, identified by individual markings on her
She gave a very impressive performance of tail slapping and swam right
up alongside the boat. We were just being told that humpbacks were solitary
creatures when over the shoulder of the speaker the middle distance erupted
with groups of blowing whales, you could almost hear the whales sniggering.
We were then treated to an amazing display with at least 25 whales in
different groups performing all of the manoeuvres for which these magnificent
animals are known.
What is difficult to convey in these photographs is the actual size of
the animal. The whale breaching here is probably an adolescent measuring some
40 to 50 feet and weighing about 30 tons.
We had tail and flipper
slapping, rolls and plunges.
As a finale we had the additional treat of a mother and calf with
mother demonstrating to her calf how to do the job properly. You can see the
dorsal fin of the calf alongside the breaching mother.
It was an absolutely amazing experience that lasted well over an hour.
I have some video footage that will remain a treasure and we await the official
photo disk of the trip that I am sure will have better images than those taken