Whales, seals, and birds...

Steve Powell
Wed 15 Dec 2010 20:58

Back at sea at last. We were delayed in Punta del Este for a little bit, waiting for a permit from the Argies to go to the Falklands!! Well needs must so we waited and behaved ourselves. It is true that we have to sail through Argentinean waters to get there so I guess they have a say.

We are now about 200nm south of Punta del Este, and sailing along famously, last night the stars were unbelievable, a moonless night that was made bright by the Southern Night Sky.  And are now we are constantly followed by birds of all shapes and sizes. There is one particularly impressive one, looks like a very large Seagull, with a wing span of four to five feet. Handsome birdie. Anyone familiar with Southern Ocean birds? Peter C?

We also have had more whales, and a whale bump! After a very successful ‘Man Over Board’ practice this afternoon in pretty big seas we managed to recover our ‘unconscious victim’ in the horizontal position via our new ‘sail recovery system’ . The thing I am happiest about is despite the fact that we were in downwind sailing mode, preventers out etc,. and had a 3 1/2m swell running we managed to recover the ‘victim’ without losing sight of him and at no time being more than 200 yds away. That’s pretty quick stopping a boat in full downwind sail mode.

I just hope we don’t have to do it for real. We have practiced it quite a lot with mixed success, as I keep saying to everyone. “You really don’t want to fall overboard, the chances of recovery in anything but perfect conditions are not good”. Cheery bugger!

Well, I digress, during our celebratory cup of tea after MOB practice, we suddenly felt a ‘big bump’ on the keel?????

Everyone looked at each other in horror and said .... “whale?”.

Well I’ve no idea, we are in 2000m of water, so I know we didn’t touch bottom. It must have been a glancing blow on something large. Whales are large! I leave it to your imagination. We’ve still got a keel though, much to everyone's relief.

But I guess the cutest has been the seals sunbathing on the surface 200 miles out to sea. I didn’t expect that. We have come across loads of little family groups ‘mother & pups’, flat on their backs, feet (fins) stuck straight in the air ‘sunbathing’.

Only another 820nm to go and a gale forecast for Friday. So think of us as we try to skirt it.

Luv to all

Steve and crew.

15th December 2010

Steve Powell (Owner/Skipper)

UHURU of Lymington
Mob: +(44) 7774 423 449
email: Steve {CHANGE TO AT} uhuru {DOT} mailasail {DOT} com
Boat Sat: +(870) 7731 500353
Skype: stevepowell9999

UHURU Blog: http://blog.mailasail.com/uhuru