Whale on a Lovely Day

1 Jan

December 31, 2018/Day 87

Noon Position: 46 19S  24 08E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExS 7

Miles since departure: 11,858

Avg. Miles/Day: 136

Rode the twin, poled-out headsails all night and until late afternoon when wind went into the north and began to build. A low moves through tonight and tomorrow.

On deck mid morning I turned and saw a large patch of brown on the water less than a boat length to port. It glistened and gave the impression of immense muscularity. Visible above the water was the length of its body from its dorsal fin to its blow hole, but that section was moving quickly and away from Mo. Clearly, the whale had just spied us and was polite enough to give way; in fact, it seemed eager to do so. The visible parts of the whale appeared to be as long as Mo, and the fin I saw as the whale turned on a wave, was large and swept back in a crescent shape, a diagnostic feature of the Fin Whale. All over in an instant. I watched for ten minutes. Only one faint blow far astern after the initial sighting.

Today has been a lovely sailing day. By 10am it was clear and I set out wet things to dry (again–different wet things) and shot the sun three times for a running fix. In the afternoon I puttered at odd jobs, like tightening the fasteners on the port genoa car, which were working loose.

I’ve added a few more statistics above, miles and days since Cape Horn and our average miles per day in that time. We’re faster in the south than we were getting here. And recently that’s almost all easting!

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage

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