Sailing the Coral Sea

Thu 11 Aug 2016 00:41
17:55.3S 152:49.1E

We saw whales. Two of them. Phil saw the first one, it was sounding just a boat length away, heading almost straight towards us. He called as he saw the width of it sliding into the water, the dorsal fin sliding by and then the tail flipping up as it dove. It's light patches showed aquamarine through the surface for a moment and then, by the time I had climbed the companionway, it was gone, leaving nothing but a glassy circle, like the eye on an old fashioned window pane, to mark where the whale had been. Phil thinks it might have been a Dwarf Minkie but he's not certain.

The second I'm sure was a humpback. He breached high into the air, with just his flukes remaining in the water, before crashing down sideways with a huge splash. Beautiful.

We've had a few birds, mostly too far away to identify but from day one a Brown Boobie has been interested in us, swooping around to check us out a few times a day. Then, when Jon was on night watch, a dark shadow spooked him, sliding through the air past his right shoulder - a wraith? No, the Brown Boobie back to find a perch for the night. He made a few attempts at landing on the side deck then settled down on the solar panel, clinging on with his little webbed feet whilst Lochmarin rolled in the swell.

The weather has been varied: smooth peaceful passage for a time; then rolly with the wind on our tail and the seas on our beam; then squally, with the boat only just settled before the wind picks up and backs and we have to adjust the sails and get back on course. The forecasts are good though,15-20 knots all the way.

I spend a fair amount of time on 'Whale watch', determined to spot any that are around. I've not seen any more but, somehow, it doesn't really matter. I know they are there, gigantic beautiful shapes sharing this ocean with us, perhaps underneath the boat as I type this. It's a good thing to know.


Day 3- Breakfast: cereal with strawberries. Lunch: Beef ravioli, with sugar snap peas, parmesan and black pepper. Supper: chicken, avocardo and tomato wrap.

Day 4- Breakfast: crumpets and a fruit salad of Bundaberg bananas, mandarins and strawberries.

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