As I write this blog post the sun is going down on our 15th day at sea. The last 48 hours or so have been a real mixed bag in terms of weather and as a result we’ve had to row our socks off in order to maintain any sort of boat speed. Today we have seen much better winds however they’ve been from the wrong direction (slightly) meaning we have spent the majority of the day rowing broad side to some fairly substantial waves. This isn’t fun. We cannot complain too much though as maintaining the magic 3 knots has been easier as a result of the windy conditions.
Boring rowing bits aside I thought I’d update you on some of our recent wildlife sightings.
10 pilot whales:
A couple of days ago Alex and I were both on the oars when we heard the sound of a whale breathing. After showering the water as if out of no where 10 pilot whales surfaced 5m off our stern. Unfortunately they did not hang around like the dolphins on day one.
The bottom of the boat was due a clean so I donned the harness, goggles and scraper and dutifully jumped into the blue abyss. Once in the water I had a quick look around, confirmed I wasn’t about to be someone’s lunch and got on with cleaning the boat... once out of the water i dried off and headed into the cabin only to hear Alex shout ‘SHARK!’ 30 seconds later. I burst out of the cabin to find a c. 6ft shark swimming just off our stern. A few flicks of its tale and it was off.
Unfortunately not as spectacular as our sighting on day 1, yesterday we were visited by a couple of dolphins although they didn’t hang around for long.
Alex and I were both on the oars when just off our starboard side c. 20 flying fish burst out of the water. The bright silver fish almost looked bird like as they glided through the air a couple of ft above the water before diving back under the waves.
Every morning we have to pick up dead flying fish that have inadvertently landed on the deck over night. Annoyingly we seem to have lost one so can’t escape the smell of rotting fish at the moment.
We see at least a dozen strange purple/pink jellyfish everyday as they appear to be so common the novelty wore off pretty quickly. However we have both seen glow in the dark jellyfish at night!
Every so often we catch glimpses of large dorado like fish swimming close to the surface in groups of c. 5-10 fish.
In the last couple of days have finally seen the moon, it’s so bright that the deck is so well illuminated we haven’t had need of our head torches. The appearance of the moon has definitely made rowing at night that little bit less grim.
Two nights ago we were lucky enough to witness a lightning storm that went on for a few hours. There were multiple enormous flashes some with forks stretching down from the sky illuminating everything for miles around. Thankfully the rain only lasted a matter of minutes and Alex was on deck at the time.
Hopefully we’ll see some more!