January 29, 2010

At Sea

We left Mag Bay this morning. We planned to leave yesterday, but woke to drizzle, so decided to wait for sun. You can do that in the desert.
We spent a quiet day getting chores done then Evan and Maia headed to the beach to look for scallops and clams--they collected a bucket full of what look like big banded venus clams and cockles. We're not sure how we'll cook them yet, but keep changing their water.
Then, just as the sun was setting I saw a boat entering the harbour--Mike and Hyo on IO had arrived and they had just caught a big Yellow Tail tuna. They came over (bearing tuna) and we swapped sailing stories for a few hours. Then it was off to bed--for them to rest up after their five-day passage and for us to prepare for ours.
This morning we headed out of the bay early, for us. Motoring into the rising sun, keeping an eye out for the whales. Soon we saw their spray across the horizon. Next, we were surrounded.
You're supposed to keep a minimum distance from the whales, but someone forgot to tell them this. We put the engine to idle and just listened as they swam and breathed all around us. Maia counted 70 before she stopped. I gave up long before her, too overwhelmed to count. Being in the midst of the huge gentle animals was awesome--in the purest sense of the word.
We wanted to stay, and follow them, and might have, but we could see more whales ahead, and more beyond those. So we raised our sails and sailed out into the open ocean. The low swell rolled under the boat and a light breeze filled out our sails.
Eight knots of wind from our stern quarter, 4-5 knots of speed. We made lunch of the fresh tuna and our fresh veggies and while eating we toasted the whales with white wine. We're starting to find our sea rhythm now; checking sails, watching the horizon, keeping track of our position. A few minutes ago a humpback breached nearby.
The only sounds are our sails and the sea.
N 24.10.5
W 111.40.8
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Caz said...

Wow! Having seen just a few whales in Alaska... I can't even imagine how awe inspiring it must have been to be surrounded! Amazing that they come so close to boats considering what the whaling industry has done to their population. Nice to see they are doing well in one place at least ;)

boatbaby said...

Yes, awesome indeed. We had a similar day today, only we were watching them do their dance from the lava rocks. I'd much rather be out there with you. So glad you are finding your rhythm! Fair winds!