Whales, Tons of Them! – 8/7/08

We had an amazing passage from P-Town to Maine. It took about 30 hours in light winds.

Near the Cape was the first sighting of whales. They were in pods just feeding off the abundant supplies of fish in the marine sanctuary. Whale watching boats were all over and, although they got their sightings, these whales seemed ambivalent about showing off beyond the occasional blow hole geyser.

Several hours later on the legendary Stellwagon Bank, Alex spotted something on the water. At first, he thought it was a rock. But I checked the chart and it should have been deep water. Then, it rolled. It was a whale’s head floating above the surface. A flock of birds was grooming it! Extraordinary. Suddenly, they were everywhere, as far as you could see, except dead ahead. Pods of whales. Two by two and more, spy hopping, getting their grooming done, swimming along and diving down, displaying their magnificent flukes. Scores of endangered Right Whales. We cheered gleefully and clapped, and jumped up and down like children.

Then we heard them singing. Loud and clear. All around us. Grunts, groans, roars, squeals, whistles, whines…it was like we were swimming with them. Don’t know how we heard it so clearly but it was haunting and eerie. Alex said it sounded prehistoric. I thought it was otherworldly. This went on for some time after we could no longer see the whales on the surface. Perhaps Aleria was transmitting the whales’ song for us like a stethoscope.

It was then that we knew that the amazing adventure has really begun.

We’ll be cruising Maine for a while and will send an update before heading out to Canada and across the Atlantic. It probably won’t be for several days…maybe weeks.

We’ve been tuning into Herb Hilgenberg’s South Bound II weather routing on SSB as practice. Almost everything is working well aboard. The new Northstar navigation system (M121) is pretty amazing. Many systems still need fine-tuning so this shakedown is good. Otherwise, there, but for the grace of God, go we.

Daria, Alex, Onyx

This post was adapted from a blog, read the original here

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