Free whale trip

Tue 29 Jul 2014 12:59
Tuesday, 29th July, 2014
Position 46:03.9N 18:56.1W
Whalewatching boat trips were 60 Euros in the Azores, but we had a nice big visitor yesterday afternoon for free. Hannah's first. We disagreed wildly on its length: I reckon on at around 14 metres, Hannah 8 metres. It's difficult with no reference points, and this creature wasn't showing that much of himself: spout, back, dorsal fin, and we never saw his back half at all. Han. says he came within 15 metres of us, he seemed to register that we were around, then ducked down under our stern. We have the photos, but they never do justice to the majesty of the event: these are huge animals. I daresay we spotted the whale because it was a pleasant quiet day, we had the engine on, and I was pottering on deck. You don't see whales in the cabin! Plus the sea was nearly glassy calm, so the sliver of back was easily spotted at a distance.
So, yes, it got very calm yesterday, and we ran the motor overnight, wearing out another engine fan belt in the process. There is something wrong with the alignment of the pulleys, but I can't fix this at sea. Just a bit worrying as the spare that Hannah bought out is the wrong size, and won't fit. Still we should get home alright so long as we sail when we can. And indeed a more or less favourable light breeze has sprung up this morning, and we are beating along the rhumb line towards the Lizard, on port tack, at around 4 knots: better wind than we had anticipated from the forecast yesterday, and so fingers crossed.
A somewhat disgruntled H was roused from her early morning slumbers with the news/instruction that 'we' were hoisting sail, and that the boat would heel and eject her from her bunk in the forecabin. Whilst she was relocating to the saloon berth, with its leecloth, a pod of dolphins came along. I counted 7. It was raining at the time, but still, a sighting for the tick box!
Food is going well, that is we are enjoying it, stocks are going down, but we will not starve. Even so it was a disappointment to find that three of our five remaining cans of fruit were inedible, and were donated to the fishes last night. We still have a few apples and pears in the fresh food tray, and tonight it's spaghetti with special tomato sauce. Fresh bread is no longer fresh, rather chewy now, but still quite enjoyable. They make great bread in the Azores, and I fear that Fleck's best will not compare too favourably when we get busy with the dough tomorrow.
On the culture front, Hannah has finished Pride and Predjudice, and I only got to read her a very few chapters. She polished off the last few this morning, before breakfast. I don't suppose you will mind if I let you know that it all ends very happily? I am reading 'The Luminaries' , Eleanor Catton. A very complicated sort of 'who done it?' set in a goldmining settlement on New Zealands South island, 150 years ago. Not my sort of read usually, but the plot is played out from the middle forwards and backwards by most ingenious devices, and the many characters are so finely drawn, that it is yet another delight for me.
Our best wishes to all readers, Hannah is still building up to her first entry, but it is also the case that her i phone is currently in game boy mode, so she is very busy, and can't be interrupted!!
P.S. Hannah says this blog os too long, it is more like a school essay!