Day 15,16 - Whales

Tue 10 Dec 2013 20:04
15:01.345N 058:17.279W

Day 15- Monday 9 Dec 2013

We are getting so close that we are starting to get excited about soon seeing land. Today our count down reached 500 NM to go. We are excited and celebrated with a toast of fine Rose issued out by Captain Jan.

We were determined to see whales before the end of the trip and with only two days to go, we were getting nervous. So John and Marie prayed this morning that God would send us whales and He did. Late in the afternoon, John shouts with a cheer - "They're in waves... The whales... they are in the waves!!" and sure enough we saw them. Never really surfacing but with the way the sun hit the 4-5 m waves in the afternoon, you could clearly make out the shapes of killer whales just below the surface. As the wave would rise, you would see their majestic bodies reflecting the sun through the water... and what a sight. They swam faster than the boat, and we were doing about 11 Knots. At times as they passed, they would turn their bodies and you would see their white underbellies. We must have seen about 50 passing in the span of an hour... and in that whole time, did not catch more than 4 of them surfacing for air. We can not even guess how many there must have been in the area, but the herd that must have contained at least a 1000, took more than an hour to pass us. (Sorry no photos... we all tried but it was too difficult to capture well)

Day 16 - Tuesday 10 Dec 2013

After not seeing any ships for at least 5 days, yesterday we saw two container ships in the night one heading to Africa and the other Northern Europe. Amazingly, despite we have been holding around 38th in the race for most of it, we have not seen any other boats for several days. Even though we draw near, somehow we are spaced out enough to not be in eyes range of each other.

Now we are certain that tomorrow we should see St Lucia. Before noon we had less than 250 NM to go. Marie this morning was so excited to sing to a family of dolphins that passed by. At least 30 of them. She sat up front straddling the bow, with her feet dipping in the water. The dolphins dared to come within a meter or two of her feet, and jumping playfully high.

This is clearly our last day at sea. Sadly we have not been able to fish since we caught the Mahi-Mahi. We are now moving too fast... not that we wouldn't catch something, but ethically, we would likely tear it apart trying to pull it in at this speed. Last night with the winds and waves all in our direction, we have been averaging 12-13 knots. a few moments, we caught glimpses of 19 knots as small gusts pushed us forward. Boy does this boat sail nicely.

One thing for sure, our leg muscles have been well worked out. We have all lost weight and yet our legs are looking great. While at sea, the boat is in constant motion, and subconsciously, so are we, counterbalancing the waves. So to one who would be standing still, we are in a constant swinging motion. No lack of exercise and no lack of bruises too from when a renegade wave hits us broadside and throws off our balance. We each have a small level of battle wounds to our legs, arms and even heads to mend when we hit solid ground.

Crew of Marie Sofie