Whales and oil rigs

Fri 24 May 2013 16:22
Friday, 24th May, 2013
Position 3:42.5S 37:19W
....are the main navigational hazards just now. The whales unfortunately do not yet seem to be equiped with AIS, so they crop up without warning, usually right alongside the boat. Do they come to investigate: a possible friend or mate? I'm rusty with my whale identification; these have rather high square foreheads, and I am guessing are 12 metres long. Anyway a change from humpbacks. Oil rigs by contrast have plenty of radar warning devices, my alarm was going off like crazy, with nothing in my vicinity, and I feared that it had developed a fault. Next thing an armada of tadpoles appeared at the edge of the AIS screen; a drilling rig on the move with five escorting tugs. Safely astern now, as we make good progress with some favourable current, and today fair winds and weather . Yesterday afternoon passed beneath a most threatening black cloud, but it was all bluster: when the 'squall' finally hit there was a bare 20 kts of wind and a handful of raindrops.
We are well offshore, and have seen very few fishing boats in this deep water, so I have had more rest than I had anticipated, and am in good spirits.
I did find the 'Empire' book, and got stuck back in. A chapter on the origins of WW1 was interesting, because I never did really understand why it happened, and I think even Fergusson has this difficulty as well. Yes, there was Austria and the Balkans, and that may have been the tipping point, but how to draw out the lessons from history? Could it really all happen again?
Peace in our time.