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Pilot Whale Escort



I re set the Main yesterday at 1130 as the wind was more in the WNW again. Setting fine.

71 miles to Noon Yesterday, hopefully we’ll be better today. Nothing to complain about but having mostly had bigger numbers it’s a little disappointing.


I learned yesterday that from ordering to delivery of a mast is in the order of 4 months so it looks like I’ll not be sailing again on Freya with a full rig this year. I’d not intended to launch her next year but will probably have to to fit and trial the mast. Hey Ho!


At lunch time, great excitement. I’d put the toast on and looked out of the hatch to see a Squadron of Pilot Whales following us, I got my ‘phone and spent some time taking pictures of them. They are dark, have a squared off head and biggish dorsal fin with a bit of a curve to it. Of course this meant that my toast burned and I had to cut a sliver of burned bit off from one side of it, luckily I’d taken the precaution of making the slices quite chunky so that this was possible. I see from Jean’s wildlife book that they weigh up to about 3.5 tonnes (whales not toast) which was a surprise because they are obviously much bigger than dolphins but don’t appear all that much bigger. In any case it was hard to estimate numbers but probably 20 or 30 or so of them. I took loads of pictures most of which didn’t come out, or did but without whales in them, they don’t seem to spend much time surfacing but it was good to see them. These are the first cetaceans I’ve seen this trip which I’m really surprised about because sailing around home waters I see porpoises and dolphins quite a lot. The best ‘photo is attached, there are two pilot whales in it one either side of the self steering gear. But you do have to search quite diligently.


I was up in the night at about 0400 bearing away because our course had come around to 020 which is too Northerly. Once done, the apparent wind would have been at about port 130, at this point the jib won’t fill and for a change, and because it was easier and I was feeling lazy, I stowed the jib instead of the main. We’re still running on just the main and it seems to work quite well, I’ve gybed now too and the main is more stable and doesn’t collapse which the jib occasionally does. I suspect that running downwind, just the main may be better. Will see.

There was a lot of luminescence in the water last night too, always nice to watch - micro organisms that glow in the dark when disturbed, they were glowing nicely from the disturbed water around the rudder. It leaves a trail of slowly disappearing glow astern. Something that is magical is when there is a lot of luminescence and a pod of dolphins decide to play in the bow wave you see the dolphins but the trails also show up really well like a miniature fireworks display. I’ve not seen this happy conjunction this trip but am still hoping to.


Boring dinner last night, penne pesto. If I’d had garlic I’d have made some garlic bread, as it was my only accompaniment was shaved parmesan.


I’ve not heard from the others for ages, suspect that they’ve ‘replied’ to my email so it’s defaulted to my gmail account which seems to be a stupid set up. Another anomaly of my e mail system is that if I look in the sent mailbox I can see the emails I’ve sent with the first line of what I’ve written but if I open one from the sent box it shows me the email to which I’ve replied and not my reply itself. Annoying. Ertan was in Horta in the Azores and AJWanderlust was about 500 miles short of Newport last I heard, I’ll try again today to get positions, hopefully Guido is having better weather and making good progress Westwards.

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