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Date: 19 Sep 2010 19:02:00
Title: Yankee Whales

42:13.610N 69:47.941W Sunday afternoon

We're still just travelling along on our way to the USA. We managed to sail for an hour or so earlier but the wind is pretty light and we've gone back to motoring as we'd like to get to Plymouth in the light, if possible.

On our watch starting at 0400 this morning, Andrea and I saw absolutely nothing. Not a single vessel, even on the radar or AIS. The stars were amazing again so we spent a good deal of time looking out for shooting stars and marvelling at how bright the planets are. The sunrise was spectacular again and soon afterwards, we were off back to bed.

When we got up again, I thought it was about time to change the courtesy flag from Canada to USA. Andrea wanted to film it so I was kneeling on the deck, taking down the Maple Leaf and putting up the Stars and Stripes with the yellow Q flag beneath it to show that we need customs clearance into the USA. As soon as the flags were up, Kali shouted out "Whales" and a pair of large grey backs appeared just off our starboard side and gave some spectacular blows before disappearing again. We're not sure what species they were as all our books are for Arctic wildlife so we'll have to get some temperate waters information. These waters should be full of Northern Right Whales but I think the Nuntucketers turned most of them into candles years ago.

(Just had to break off writing as I spotted a large shark sunbathing off our starboard side. We could see the waves breaking over his back and his fin popping out occasionally).

I hadn't really thought it through but we're aiming to arrive in the USA at Plymouth, where the Pilgrim Fathers landed. It's the oldest established "English" town in the Americas and I think it's great that we're making landfall at the same place as they did in 1620. That's even before the English Civil War so it's a spectacularly long time ago. How brave - or desperate - must they have been to travel to a completely unknown continent to found a new life. Like us, I think they even left from Southampton although they stopped in Plymouth for a pizza or something. Actually, thinking about it, they were Puritans so they probably just had garlic bread.

Just had to break off again as Andrea has spotted land on the port bow - it's Cape Cod in the US of A. How exciting is that! Just as we were looking, we saw another whale and then a load of birds diving into the water that had something in it fishing from underneath. I don't think it was a whale but perhaps another shark. Either way, these waters seem very productive.

Just seen another whale, this one just off the bow. It swam in front of us then did a perfect flukes-up dive so we have him a round of applause. We're sailing again as well so it's a perfect entry to the USA.

Harvey

Harvey

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