Minke whales, toe nibbling waves and a flying fish

We’re on watch from 9am and not long after we gybe, probably only done this half a dozen times the whole trip, so while in the general scheme of things it’s no big deal, for us it was to be an important feature in our day.

Even better we had a visit for over an hour from three huge minke whales!! They were about 6-8m long and were swimming right along side us so they could have a good look at us we reckon – awesome!! Try as we might we couldn’t get a clear picture, so one for us to enjoy and you guys just to wonder!!!

As a result of the gybe we were properly back on course and the motion over the waves a lot more pleasant. Everyones favourite outcome. Bernice was feeling tired and decided to snooze through lunch, while Adam baked bread, Will was on watch and Huw did some reading.

Our book list thus far:
Huw: The Count of Monte Christo, Dumas – great once you get past the first hundred pages or so; Absolute Friends, John le Carre – not his best!; Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck; The Brass Verdict, Michael Connelly – OK Grisham esque lawyer drama; John Simpson, Not Quite the Worlds End – interesting, if only he’d shut up about his son.

Dirk Gently, Long Dark Teatime of the Soul, Douglas Adams – classic; The Motorcycle Diaries, Che Guevara – started long time ago, thought it was about time read it all; Fragile Things Short Fictions and Wonders, Neil Gaiman – short stories and poems, some sound, some tedious; The Book Thief, Markus Zusak – great read if a very disturbing and sad subject matter. Would give Schindler’s list a run for it’s money were it to hit the box office! (and I haven’t even read the end yet!!)

There’s quite a good book swap community out here, plus we are lucky enough to have access to Chris’s library onboard New Dawn. Thanks :0)

While dinner was being prepped we sat on the foredeck (front pointy bit of boat) reading for a bit then dangled our feet over the side with the waves catching and nibbling at our toes. The water temperature is still 28 deg.

Dinner of chicken frajita’s set us up nicely for our evening and night watches. The waves have calmed considerably and on our present sail config and course we’re now averaging 8knots. Which if we can keep this up will mean arrival in St Lucia sometime Thursday. Light winds are forecast later in the week but fingers crossed we stay in front of them.

On our evening watch Bernice was attacked by a flying fish! When we say attacked it’s a slight exaggeration obviously, but it flew on the boat, hit the genoa line bounced off at a jaunty angle and slapped Bernice across the arm before landing on a heap in amongst the fenders on the opposite side of the boat! We did the kind thing and threw it back in the water. We’ve found quite a few dead ones on deck though, it’s pretty common. They are the daftest things. Fish with wings about 20cm long but they fly upright through the air. Funnier still has been watching them with the big waves, they come flying out of the water, seem to crap themselves when they see the big waves and crash headlong into them. Doh!

The 3-6am shift, what a great stargazing watch! Hardly anything in the way of clouds at all, so no danger of squalls, and stars everywhere. Just amazing. Pure amazing. There’s nowhere we can think of with less light pollution where you’d get a better view on a cloudless night. Think we’ve seen more shooting stars tonight than we have in a lifetime, feels like it anyhow! :0)

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