Whale of a time

Tue 17 Jun 2014 15:53
Tuesday, 17th June 2014
Position 35:14.6N 57:57.8W
Although just as I write I am encoutering a coutercurrent of over 1kt, we have continued to make good progress to the west. I have dropped down south a bit as quite a blow is expected later in the week, and it will probably be stronger in the north, so, yes, I'm hiding!
Lots and lots of sail changes as the wind varies, but as it is much cooler now these are quite welcome periods of work, no longer resulting in sweat soaked shirts. Indeed deckwork would be quite pleasant if it were not for the rolling around: when you need two hands for a job, and the boat needs one hand for you to keep a hold of it, things can get difficult. As I have said before, out here no one can hear you swear. There has been plenty of sunshine up till now, but a lot of showers and cloud in the last 24 hours has reduced my solar energy supply, and so this morning I launched the propellor, and its 25 metres of rope that drives the generator that is now slung in the pushpit at the back of the boat. Leaning over the transom to do this I found myself confronted with the head of a whale swimming along in the wake of the boat, about 4 feet below the surface. In shock I dropped the propellor in, and it quickly streamed off behind the boat on its rotating rope tether. The whale slid away, but further behind two ominous dorsal fins now appeared, following the wake of the towing line. I feared that they would attack the propellor, which has a diameter of perhaps 25 cms, on a steel rod that is one metre in length. To my relief they decided that this was neither food nor fun, and they swam away. Not sure what species, the fins were like killer whales, and about the right size. Two pretty seagulls, a pair of something, and one with a long white tail, considered hitching a ride yesterday afternoon, but thought better of it after several hours, Finally five visible big ships in the last 24 hours, so must be near an established lane. The next time I sail round the world I will obviously need an amplifier and a volume control for the AIS receiver, and a zimmer frame, and.....
Lovely reading yesterday, 'Spies' by Micheal Frayn. Wonderful imagination, conjouring a coming of age story out of nothing. And something that I didn't know, or am I just gullible, during WW2, 'our' children were encouraged to believe that Germans were bad, as, obviously, they were covered in germs! Can this be true?  I finished 'Snow' several days ago. It is about a poet, and so of course it all ends in tears, Great stuff.