48:11.66N 009:10.29W Sunday 17th May
A calm night and morning of motoring with 2-5K of wind and flat seas. Nothing to report...until...
3, 5 , 10, 20, then another 30- wow A school/pod? Of pilot whales heading from Ireland towards the west coast of France, swam past us, around us, under us, behind us, along side us, ahead of us. Maybe up to 15 ft in length and some swimming in 2s and 3s rising and descending together, in a lazy gentle motion, all heading SE linked together as if and may be they were all communicating together over an area of some 10 mile spread.
We were very excited to watch and film them. I have never sailed with whales before ever... and now a good 50 in total. What a thrill.
The other news is that we have researched the whale that took our autopilot rudder-----it was a killer whale, no doubt about it once we looked it up. My goodness, I am glad we didn’t realise that at the time.
Now approaching Sunday Roast lunch time we are awaiting a chilled glass of Portuguese white, a hearty meal and then gradually increasing winds to a forecast 26K of SW breeze to drive us into the Western Approaches and the English Channel itself.
Yesterday evening we saw three ships in quick succession and it felt like we were getting close to civilisation, although we have seen only one since. We have 243M to go to Start Point so pretty soon we do expect to encounter more shipping.
We anticipate a fast finish after this gentle motoring calm so there is still a chance for a late Monday evening arrival or an early Tuesday. If we push for the former then we would like to think we can make it before last orders, but in which pub or maybe which yacht club? The Dartmouth Arms or the Dartmouth Yacht Club have been put forward as options. We shall see. There is an air of anticipation, a sense of all that land, all those people, friends and family being just over the horizon. We mustn’t get too much into this mood yet as there is still some sea to sail over, some miles to put under our keel.
We will write again tomorrow so once we have a reasonable idea of our ETA and where we shall aim for on land do come and join us if you possibly can.
All is well