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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 10, Big Tuesday

148 nm made good, all sailing. 1602 miles to go.

What was that surfer movie in the '70s? Big Wednesday? Well yesterday was Big Tuesday on NAKIA.

To start off with, a boat ahead of us reported a large swell rolling in from the South, and sure enough about 3 in the afternoon we found ourselves going up and over some pretty big waves. The weather files said they we 4.3 meters (about 17 feet) and I figure that's about right. As I said they were coming from the South, and our course of South West put us riding into/across them. They're not a big deal, just very impressive.

Then, about 5 in the afternoon I was lying in bed, I heard a whale blow. I didn't think much of it and went back to snoozing. Then about 10 minutes later Linda, who'd been sweeping the floor, went up to empty the dust pan and yelled 'Oh Sh*t, John a whale!'. I came shooting out of bed thinking this had to be something good and when I got up on deck I did what I normally do for whales, start looking out towards the horizon. I asked 'which direction?' and Linda said, 'No. Right there!' pointing down to a grey shape cruising under the surface 20 feet off the port quarter. Huh. That's close. It stayed with us 20 minutes or so, just swimming along side, the spray from it's exhalation crossing the deck in front of us. Although once it went down and under the keel, coming up right in front of the boat with it's back just a few feet from the bob-stay. Now that was close. His curiosity satisfied, he left us to find something more interesting without coming any closer. We've come to the conclusion that it was a 30 foot long Bryde's whale.

The other big thing happened this (Wednesday) morning. At about 0400 some very strange dolphin showed up. They made a huge splash when the surfaced to breath. It wasn't until the sun came up that we could see they are Pilot Whales. About a dozen. They've been with us all day and one particularly curious fellow, nicknamed 'Chip' because of the notch in his dorsal fin, has been staying very close to NAKIA. At times only 3 feet off either quarter.