Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Our First Humpback Whale

Captain's Blog 

At Sea, July 21st, 2014

Our first Humpback whale

Karen and I have been sailing now 9 days, having left Bora Bora in French Polynesia on the 11th with a brief rest stop at Maupiaa.  We have traveled now about 1,000 miles in a mixed bag of conditions, most of which has been absolutely beautiful.  The last two days the ocean has been almost glass calm, very little swell, and just ripples on the water from a gentle breeze.  We have motor sailed to keep the speed up hoping to arrive in Niue tomorrow by midday.  Niue is one of the world's physically smallest countries.  We hope to stop there and spend a day catching up on rest and a few provisions, then move on to Tonga, a 2 day sail.

Today was very special, as a matter of fact, it was AWESOME! We had both just walked up to the trampolines on the front of the boat to sit in the sun for a while.  The ocean was calm.  As I gazed off to the right of the boat a humpback whale breached about 75 feet away.  It took our breath away.   We sat there in complete awe and excitement not believing what we had just seen.  It was HUGE!  I guessed it to be 1 and a half times the size of the boat, perhaps a granddaddy at 45 to 50 feet long.   As we sat there it breached again, about the same distance and direction off the starboard side.  Five minutes later our hearts jumped into our throats as it apparently swam directly under the boat and then breached right in front of us.  We were almost looking right down in its blowhole as it took a breath.  It felt like that if he lifted his tail it would have picked up the front of the boat.  About 15 minutes later he did a lazy breach about 200 feet away, laid on the surface, and then disappeared as mysteriously as he had come.   WOW.  It is exciting to know that it is calving season in Tonga now for the Humpback, and we hope to frequently share the breathtaking experience with the volunteers aboard.

As we now approach Tonga we look forward to beginning work there.  We look forward to new relationships, friends, and sharing this beautiful and unique experience with the volunteers who are willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.

Thanks for staying with us! 


DL

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