Seven-year-old's dream day

Thu 22 Sep 2016 05:30
01:51S 148:01E

It was a day of rainbows and dolphins. Sometimes both at the same time. There were rainbows in every direction, and, a first for me I think, one which went right up over our heads, directly above us. At most I counted four rainbows in sight at the same time but, as the thundery squalls and showers rolled around us all day, there was almost always at least one showing. The dolphins hardly let us be - they were as curious and persistent as villagers in canoes are in anchorages where yachts rarely visit.

Once the Dwarf Spinners had finished visiting the Pantropic Spotted took over and just when they'd finished some rather unusual ones crossed our bow. They were quite large and traveling fast in a line, staying low in the water when they porpoised and breathing loudly, blowing as they surfaced. All of a sudden they were loads of them, seeming to come in from every direction, with at least 50 all around the boat and more coming in as we watched. Now, practically speaking, only about 8 dolphins can bow ride at one time, but they were jam packed, determined to have their turn, jostling for space, weaving in and out of each other. We felt like we could have stepped off the bow and walked over the water on the backs of these beautiful mammals. But which beautiful mammals? We were having trouble identifying them. They seemed to have no beak at all, or a very snub one. They appeared to have white lips, or a white lower jaw leading to a white belly. Some of the younger ones jumped clear of the water and showed off a pink belly. It was only later, after I'd transferred some photos to the computer and we'd spent time studying our field guide, that we realised why we'd had trouble identifying them: they were a mixture of two different species spending time together, Fraser's Dolphins and Melon-Headed Whales. Apparently they often hang out together. I think it's cool. No worrying about being a whale or a dolphin, having a beak or not, lateral stripes or no lateral stripes. It's just all marine mammals together, playing with a boat that's passing by.

Eventually, for no reason that we could tell, it was time for them to move on, we looked up to see there were just a dozen or so still with us, then a few determined stragglers, then they too left, like kids called three times by their mum. Just one remained, randomly he was a Pantropic Spotted, all on his own but squeaking lots, either saying "Where'd you all go? Can't I play?" or calling his own pod to came and join the fun, I wasn't sure which.

Happily, with nightfall came a steady light breeze and we were able to sail consistently, at around 3 or 4 knots, through the night but morning brought glassy seas again and we've been putting sails up and bringing them down again, turning the engine on, then turning it off again, all through the day. It's been keeping us busy and making slow, but steady, progress.

Passage Food:

Day 1- lunch: camembert, tomato, lettuce and cranberry jelly wrap. Supper: beef stew. Well, actually vegetable stew with a little beef in it.

DaY 2- Breakfast: fresh pineapple, muesli, yoghurt (boat made). Lunch: Miso soup and Navy Bisket ("Bikpela na strongpela") with vegemite - we find we're converted!

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