Atlantic Crossing – Day 19 – Whale!

Blogger: John and Mariel
Date: 29-Feb-2020
Location: Creeping ever closer
Total to Date: 2378nm (539nm to go)
24 Hour Run: 116nm

Despite a steady, uneventful night(though very warm and with a fair amount of rock’n’rollin’), the wind has again been fickle and the end looks as far away today as it did yesterday.

However….we did see a whale!! Yesterday evening, Irish John suddenly began staring at a spot around a mile off our port beam. Then there it was “Whale, whale!”. Everyone crowded around watching as it began to blow every minute or so. At one stage it seemed to be getting closer and then it flung itself upwards, breeching and almost out of the water. Wow, amazing. Slowly it moved down our port side until eventually after 20 minutes or so we left it behind. It was too far away for a positive identification but it was pretty big. Best guess? Humpback. IJ won the prize for the first confirmed whale sighting – a bag of boiled sweets.

Buoyed up by our whale sighting, we had a lovely evening in the sunshine with stuffed roasted squash for supper, an introductory smudge stick ceremony with the smudge stick M made with herbs from the coastal forests of southern Spain, and a return to choir practice, with ever improving renditions of “Deep Blue Sea” and the Mingelay Boat Song.

It’s been a pretty organism rich 24 hours actually. We’ve started seeing quite a bit of weed being carried by the current, blobs of orange streaming in long lines against the blue. Not enough to snag the patiently dragged fishing line but enough for us all to comment on it. Up to the last few days we had seen none. More of the beautiful white tropic birds too and the first sighting of a frigate bird far off land. And last night as I was contemplating the world on late night watch there was a sudden flapping on the aft deck. A large flying fish had joined me. I spent a few minutes deciding whether to let it flap itself out on the deck for fish bait or to pick it up and return it to the sea. It decided for me by flipping over the guard rail and back into the ocean.

After a noisy night, the highlight of the day was baked beans on toast on M’s delicious brown bread for breakfast. Otherwise there really isn’t much to report today. Frustrating with the end now tantalisingly close but with insufficient fuel to motor all of the rest of the way.

M, IJ, J and G

Use with SHOW JOURNEY to track our progress.

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