Day 18 - Whales and dolphins and other visitors

Sat 18 Nov 2017 13:56
19:10.733N 023:15.500W

Another day in paradise.

We are still on route to Mindelo, motor sailing with the foresail up and making 7 kts or so. We are now about 163 miles out and should be arriving around 7 or 8 am. It will be nice to have a short break from the routine (and perhaps a cold beer), but it will also be good to get going again and started on the final leg. I guess it is a bit like getting to 32km on a marathon and knowing that you can almost see the finish even if it is a hell of a long way away.

During the last week we have had a couple of visitors. Dolphins on two or three occasions came to see what we are up to and spent some time playing in the bow waves and swimming next to the boat. Yesterday we saw a group of whales, perhaps a half a mile away, swimming along parallel to us. It makes one feel somehow honored to see, and almost be with, these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.

We are also constantly accompanied by flying fish that launch themselves in large numbers across the bows. The combined wisdom of all members of the crew is unable to answer the question of why fish should fly. I am sure that there is some academic out there who wrote his doctoral thesis on the subject but, being unable to access Google, we are unable to resolve the question at this stage. Oh, and is it a "school" of flying fish or a "flock" of flying fish?

The other visitor we had was a pigeon which had obviously been blown off course. He/She circled the boat a couple of times and, after attempting to find a perch on the rigging finally settled for a spot on the bows. It sat there huddled up as night fell and in the morning it was gone. Sadly I suspect it must have been blown off during the night and, given the wind direction and distance from land, I doubt that it could have survived. Go well little bird.

Another phenomenon we are noticing at night is sparks of phosphorus on the water. It is really quite pretty when the pitch black night is suddenly sprinkled with tiny lights as a wave or wind disturbs the water surface. Another subject for Google when it is available.

There is much activity on the boat at present, with Donald and Richard sorting stuff and packing things away in sundry boxes and then in sundry places. I hope they are able to find them when needed. If not then another "Harper" trait will surface and they will go out and buy another. Audrey is still spoiling us with incredible food. As I said in a previous posting, how she manages to keep it up in a kitchen that is constantly moving is beyond me.

Duncan is spending his free time growing a beard and informs me that it is very hard work and requires much concentration. When you next see him you will note that he appears to have a very short concentration span.

Thats it for now. Love to everyone back home, we miss you and look forward to chatting soon.