Friday, July 8th, 2016
Happy Canada Day! For us has dawned another beautiful day in tropical like conditions. While keeping the ship moving through the night the crew have kept busy and up to snuff with their sail stowing, drilling in getting the Studding Sails in and the Royals stowed in a timely fashion.
We have been lucky enough to see more than a few marine mammals this passage and about midday today a number of spouts were seen along the horizon. As they came closer though, we saw the spout was different than the dolphins, Fin whales and Minke Whales we have been seeing. Soon enough it became obvious that there were an entire pod of Sperm whale headed in our direction, a rare and exciting site.
Sperm whales, after hundreds of years of being the most popularly fished whale, are rare to see and also easily ‘gallied’ or scared away at the approach of a vessel. As we sailed along slowly in silence, on a course meeting with theirs, they appeared not to notice us. Two adults and two calf’s crossed within 20 yards of the bow of the ship. These amazingly large and powerful creatures slowly lumbering along in the afternoon sun was an awe inspiring sight and the crew crowded on the Focs’l head and into the Fore Mast to catch a glimpse.
Later in the afternoon, with very calm seas and warm water it was decided by the Captain that there would be no better time than now to have a swim call. With a flurry of activity the ship was hove to Fore Topsail to the mast and all hands called on deck. After the Mate gave a quick lesson on the ‘pool rules’ – how to stay safe, with a few designated life guards standing by – in the crew went. It’s quite a feeling being in the water next to your ship, the nearest land being about 16,000 feet away – straight down. After about 20 min, many hands soaping up for a salt water scrub and a few braving a dive from the Jibboom it was time to go. All hands were again called on deck to be accounted for, then hands to braces and fill away. And with setting the kites we started along our way again.
And as if we thought the day couldn’t get any better Donald served us his world famous fried chicken for dinner. Our 23rd day at sea was not too bad at all.
SHIP’S WORK: Overhaul Main yard foot ropes; patch serve splices on Main Upper Topsail lifts; Paint on the Focs’l head hand rails and the Semi-Dory Bottom; slushing the rig; continue quarterdeck dutchman; various spot painting; Sailmakers continue on Upper Topsail ‘H’ and the new Upper Topsail ‘DK-16’
FROM: La Rochelle, France
TOWARDS: Quebec, Canada
TIME ZONE: ZD +1
NOON POSITION: 34°41’N / 045°39’W
DAYS RUN: 69nm
PASSAGE LOG: 2937nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 1444nm
COURSE AND SPEED: NW x w, 3kts
WIND: SE, Force 3
WEATHER: Sunny and occasional cumulus, air temp: 26°C, water temp: 24°C
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: E’rly, 1 – 2ft
SAILS SET: All Sail, except Outer Jib and Fore Topmast Staysail