Whales at Last!

Summer 2022
John Andrews
Wed 29 Jun 2011 14:03

43:13.39N 24:04.33W


Day 3


We have spent virtually the last 24 hours under motor. Checking our position this morning against the latest grib file, we are right in the high pressure area, and it looks as if we will stay here for another 24 hours, Our plan is to continue as we are, although bearing slightly East, in order to pick up on stronger southerlies that are forecast in a couple of days time. It is difficult to know what to do for the best. Jim has been participating in the on-line Volvo round the world race, which involves downloading weather data every twelve hours, making appropriate routing and sailing decisions and waiting to see how you do against the other 2000 or so competitors, This has led to full debates on the whys and wherefores of alternatives courses of action, but in the end, we’re pretty much on a committed path now.


The biggest excitement, however, is that we have had a fabulous sighting of whales, witnessed at close quarters by all of us, so no argument. At first, John spotted white columns in the distance, which appeared and then disappeared. He kept looking, and they appeared again a little bit closer. The third time we all saw them and it was obvious that it was a whale or whales spouting. We motored slowly towards them, and then turned our engines off.  We then all saw at close quarters another spout, and the large back and fin of a huge whale. We stayed in contact for about 15 minutes when the whale did a big roll out of the water before diving, not to be seen again. We believe that it was a Minke whale, judging by its colour and the shape of its fin, and we think that we were looking at more than one animal. We realised that similar odd, vertical white clouds that we had seen in the morning, a few miles distant, must have been whales spouting.  


Two more large ships spotted, one of which came at us from ahead and required a change of course, but caused no major problems.


Another very pleasant evening of plain sailing/motoring highlighted by an excellent supper followed by a second game of Logo, a much tighter contest this time against strengthened opposition which saw David and Jim trailing at the mid-way point but emerging triumphant again at the end.