Picture: Enzo posing with the one he was allowed to keep.
STOP PRESS.....STOP PRESS....
Those following our tracking beacons will have realized that we entered passed through Gibraltar in the early hours of this morning and are now in the Mediterranean.For me it is great to be back here while for the others on board it heralds the last section of our adventure as we draw nearer to their homes. All in all it took us a month from Cape Town and allowing for the stops twenty six days of actual sailing.
At times during yesterday I was putting my thoughts together with a view to reflecting on our passage from Cabo Verde to Gibraltar but there was a lot of urgency in locating phone numbers and contact details for obtaining fuel in Gibraltar. The day was fraught with agonizing loss of contact on the satellite system and using cell phones with marginal signals to the Moroccan shore in sight to our left. Eventually we were able to contact the fuel dock just outside the marina in Gibraltar but alas they only have three and a half meters of depth at the dock and our boat draws four meters. On to the next plan which needed contacting a shipping agent to make arrangements for us to enter the commercial port and have the fuel delivered there by road tanker. More details needed and in the end the necessary information was sent via the trusty SSB system that gives you these blogs. Arriving at the port shortly after three in the morning we called up port control on the VHF radio to request permission to enter and tie up at the designated dock which we had been told about by the agent. At this point the red tape and beaurocracy caught up with us. The boats arrival and details had not been forwarded to the Port Authorities as promised, thus we were not able to enter into the port. Not even that they would not let us anchor outside to wait for the morning. In fact they did not even want us to be in their water space. Our cockpit conference decided to give Gibraltar a miss and head on into the Mediterranean and find fuel elsewhere.
Turning around we made our way out of the Algeciras Bay and passing Europa Point to our port side took our course eastwards into the Mediterranean. Perhaps the Spanish do have a rightful claim to this enclave.
Several of us had been in the cockpit for more than six hours with the cold wind on our faces. At on time I looked at the air temperature reading on the B&G, it was twelve degrees. Having sorted ourselves out with the course and a fresh watch I came below to my cabin. Taking off the outer foul weather jacket and farmer brown trousers and my fleece track suit I got into my bunk and pulled the duvet tightly around me. What a wonderful feeling of warmth crept over as I dropped of to sleep for a few hours.
Fifty or so miles along the coast brought us to Malaga where we were warmly received by the Spanish Port Control and Port Police who assisted us with some documentation and arranging for a fuel delivery.
The fuel has now been loaded and I have been able to check all the various engine oils and drain the fuel filters of water so we are ready for the next leg.
I have the chance to write this while the others wash the salt from the top of the boat and then I suppose it will be a fine meal together. Some thing that we can not always enjoy, eating while sailing is a relay affair with someone in the cockpit at all times.
Our position in the Malaga harbour is 36 deg 42.8 min North and 004 deg 24.9 min West.
Cheers from a contented Mrs. Marietta crew.
Picture: Crostata being prepared by Vittorio and Valentina.A very pleasant jam filled tart with a biscuit like crust.
When leaving the Cape Verde Archipelago to head northwards it is customary to proceed in a northwest direction towards the Azores and or Madeira. This is because the dominant factor in the North Atlantic is the Azores High governing the weather patterns with it's clockwise rotating wind patterns. These give strong head-winds on the route from the Cape Verde's to Gibraltar. On our leaving the islands we were faced with a different scenario. The typical high pressure cell was absent with little wind showing in a large area from well west of Madeira to the African coast and all the way past Gibraltar.
Taking this into account together with our desire to possibly call at Las Palmas in the Canaries we set our course directly to that objective. Those following either of our tracking systems would have seen the unusual track in comparison with previous voyages from Cape Town to the Mediterranean. It might even have raised a few eyebrows at it's unusual nature.
The widely spaced isobars coupled with the lack of the dominant high gave us the most delightful sailing conditions with flat, calm seas and light winds. The winds were inclined to be a bit variable and not strong enough to dispense with our trusty engine which has been performing well. Using the engine and available wind to best advantage whist not straying from our direct route has resulted in daily distances of two hundred and ten to two hundred and fourty seven miles a day calculated noon to noon.
As we have progressed a careful watch has been kept on the weather as several depressions developed very far to the west close to the North American and Canadian coasts. Fortunately for us these systems moved to the north-east and did not affect our general area. Closing in on The Canaries we were taking note of the changing situation towards Gibraltar. Staying to the inside of the islands it was decided to forgo our opportunity of obtaining spares for the auto-pilot and continue as fast as possible to Gibraltar, as the forecasts obtained gave us a small window of favourable conditions to enter and pass through the straights.
Typical of the last few days was yesterday when I spent practically all of my available time sourcing various forms of weather information. This time spent prevented me from writing which I wanted to do very much. Even today the time spent has resulted in me doing this perhaps after the best radio propagation times so I hope that I am still able to get it away tonight. Not that it has been all doom and gloom for the past few days have been as exciting as ever.
Dolphins in the form of the smaller Atlantic species have become frequent visitors to the boat. These extremely attractive grey and white patterned chaps are extremely playful and leap out of the water in spectacular displays. Arriving on a pod of about fifteen whales we slowed and circled gently to try and view the as best we could without disturbing them. very large by comparison to those seen earlier I did at least see one raise it's head as it arched to surface without actually breeching. Definitely baleen whales and by their size, the head that I saw and dorsal fin exposed above the surface I feel sure that they were Fin Whales. Unfortunately none of us got any good usable pictures.
Bird sightings have become much more frequent being close to the coast with Gannets being very much in evidence. A few land birds also came to pay their respects with a very pretty swallow spending the night.
Having already mentioned the catching of a tuna, Enzo was most perturbed when a few hours later we caught another, being smaller than the first he was not at all happy about it being given a second chance and returned to the sea. We were rewarded however by another catch the next day. Watch out for the photo!
Having passed The Canaries last night we are pushing on for Gibraltar hoping to be there some time on Tuesday the 17th.
News of Paulo has filtered through and we are pleased to know that he has received medical treatment and is well on the road to recovery. It does depend on the decision of his doctor and the availability of a suitable rendezvous to see if he can rejoin us for the last leg.
Here at 31 deg 09 min North and 011 deg 29 min West I bid you good night as I try to send this before going on watch.
Cheers, Tom et al.
Picture: Stormvogel at anchor in Praia.
Our days are filled and and while I try I do not always get my thoughts down clearly so please forgive me.
Yesterday our main course for lunch was fresh grilled tuna with a sprinkling of garlic and chopped parsley garnish. Absolutely delicious! The tuna was so fresh that a mere two hours before being cooked it was still alive. Fresher and more tasty I do not believe it is possible to achieve. But it came at a price. Wanting to scoop up some sea water to use while Vittorio was dissecting the fish the bucket that I had at the end of a rope suddenly dug into the sea and pulled the rope at high speed through my hands. Cursing at the loss of the bucket and surveying the rope burns I seethed inside. Opening the transom door I suggested to Bellomino that he get some sea-water from there where it is easier to control the bucket. He was successful with the first but on attempting another he let out a cry as the rope shot through his hands burning them even more severely than mine. Two good buckets, rather a high price to pay for one medium tuna especially when we have no way of replacing them.
To go back to Praia for a moment. On the Sunday while working on deck I watched as a classic looking yacht cruised slowly into the anchorage and anchored a little way off. I could not get the thought out of my head the she looked familiar and I felt that I should recognize the classic lines. Next morning I got a better view of the transom and thought that I could make out the name " STORMVOGEL ". Could it be true? I tried the binoculars again to look at the lines and the varnished deck-house. Shortly after their rubber duck came by and I hailed the two occupants. One was Ian the New Zealand skipper. Yes it was the genuine Stormvogel built for Kees Brynzeel in Knysna South Africa sometime around nineteen sixty. Still very much in her original condition being maintained by Ian who is also a shipbuilder by trade. Still racing regularly the grand old lady is a regular feature on the rostrum of classic regattas and here she was right close by. I wanted to accept the invitation to a sun-downer later but our own fuel issues prevented that from happening. How I wanted to be inside that well known and wonderful yacht. I hope you enjoy the picture as much as I did seeing her casually anchoring along side us.
For some time we too did not have any news of Paulo, eventually finding out that he was having further medical treatment. Last night after my watch I needed to send you an update to the blog. This I wanted to do after my time on deck but alas earlier in the evening I had received his and Riccardo's comments on the blog kindly forwarded by Shaun.
Having shared my watches with both of them I have felt their absence from the boat deeply. Riccardo in our discussions gave me a lot more than just in insight into Italian culture. Paulo always made us coffee when he reported for duty but it was more than coffee we shared. As they have said it is not possible to live and work in this small watery environment without caring deeply for each other. The lump in my throat was too large and the emotion too deep to be able to write last night.
I am pleased to have a contribution from Dudi to add to today's episode in our voyage.
Caro Paolo volevo dirti che abbiamo tutti apprezzato molto le tue parole. La tua analisi del nostro piccolo mondo in giro per l'oceano, è stata precisa, profonda e spiritosa come di più non si poteva. Mi dispiace che tutti coloro che non erano a bordo con noi e che hanno letto le tue parole non potranno capire le sottili ironie tra le righe che sei riuscito con attenzione e arguzia a disegnare.
Come puoi immaginare qui tutto procede con i soliti ritmi. Turni al timone, dormite e mangiate. Stiamo approfittando di una finestra meteo MOLTO favorevole che ci permette di risalire velocemente quello che invece doveva essere il tratto di mare peggiore da affrontare. Evidentemente tutti i festeggiamenti e offerte fatte a Nettuno all'Equatore hanno avuto buon esito. Sembra proprio che Nettuno e una bassa pressione ci abbiano messo una mano sopra la capa e ci accompagnino su per la salita. Dove navighiamo il vento cala e gira a nostro favore o quando contrario è leggero.
Ecco, neanche ho scritto questo che mi chiamano fuori che rinforza e un temporale all'orizzonte!!! Ch'aggià fa? Me la sono tirata!! Scrivere queste cose di venerdì 13 che potevo pretendere? Ma ci faceva piacere farti condividere questa parte di navigazione che non stiamo facendo insieme.
Speriamo tutti e anche Mrs. Marietta che dall'ospedale ti buttino fuori presto!! Sapendo quanto avresti avuto piacere a fare Gibilterra, speriamo tutti di trovarti in banchina a Casablanca. Per tua info io ho volato Milano-Casablanca con Easyjet a 40 euro andata e ritorno!! Se tutto procede bene la sera del 16 potremmo essere a Casablanca....FAI PRESTO!!!
Un abbraccio Dudi
Many thanks for sailing with us as we continue to head northwards at position 24 deg 13 min North and 16 deg 21 min West.
12/01/2012, Ilha Do Santiago
Picture: Vittorio, more than nearly 15 meters up the mast inspecting the rigging before departure.
Leaving the Praia harbour breakwater extension to port we felt the change as the calm of the inner sanctuary gave way to the open sea. Mrs. Marietta rose to meet the increasing swell as we continued turning to port so as to round the right hand side of Ilha Do Maio as one looks at it on the chart. Keeping close to the shore in order to maintain the best heading we were able to get a good view of the desolate coast once the town had passed. Green scrubby vegetation showed above a rocky shore interspersed with crumbling cliffs.
At Punta Coroa on top of the cliffs stood a large deserted house. Already visible at a considerable distance I thought that it was a lighthouse. But not so, it's large chimney rising well above the broken roof gave that impression. It stood there boldly looking out to sea high above the cliffs surrounded by breaking waves. Reality gave way to daydreaming as I imagined living there in an idyllic quiet environment with a large antenna array and exploring excellent radio conditions.
All along the coast we needed to keep a sharp lookout as the sea was dotted with small open fishing boats. Around four to six meters with only two to four occupants they bobbed along fishing. Some had a small outboard engine for power whilst others hoisted rudimentary lateen sails having possibly rowed out against the wind and tide. A hard way to make a meager living.
Leaving Ilha Do Santiago behind us we hardened up on the wind as much as we could so as to pass the next island to the opposite side on our right. The shore of Ilha Do Boavista angled in a north west direction and lay in our path so it was necessary to make several tacks to claw our way along this coast. Different from earlier views we could now see long white beaches topped with sand dunes. There was a large temptation to enter one of the bays, drop the anchor, get out the tender and go exploring but alas no such luck this time.
Here by contrast the sea-bed was shallow at around twenty meters and once again there were plenty of the small open fishing boats together with a few larger motorized ones. I imagined the fishing to be good in the shallow water with the possibility of a few rocky reefs and a viable food supply.
Being without Paulo and Riccardo we have rearranged our watch schedule and are still keeping the same three hours on duty but have arranged different off periods. Some of these are four and a half hour and some are six hours. Valentinna is now also keeping an occasional watch together with looking after the galley.
Our first night back at sea was a very pleasant one with a clear sky. Being a few days after the full moon the evening was dark and we were able to do quite a bit of star identification. During my early watch period I saw two satellites passing overhead. The moon eventually rose very brightly and although it reduced the view of the stars it improved our visibility of the sea. Relatively calm conditions prevailed as we motor-sailed on with a magnificent golden glow stretching across the water.
Since Monday my thoughts have been with the chaps at Southern Wind Shipyard in Lansdowne back in Cape Town. They are back at work from their summer holiday and I hope that they experienced a good new year and well earned rest. Thanks to them for all the effort put into the building of Mrs. Marietta.
The fishing lure is once again being trolled behind but our total catch amounts to one fish lost of the lure yesterday due to the boat speed and a piece of fishing net this morning. Thank goodness it did not get into the propeller.
Regards from us all at 17 deg 24 min North and 021 deg 18 min West.
09/01/2012, North Atlantic
Picture: Whale tail, spotted from aboard Mrs. Marietta
It's after midnight by whichever time zone affects us and while I need to get some sleep I am also aware of the necessity to keep all our followers informed of the status quo of our voyage. We live in an era of rapid information exchange but sometimes we need to be discreet with the handling of that flow so as not to be intrusive on the effects of each other.
It might seem idyllic to be anchored in such a remote and almost exotic place such as Cabo Verde but we have needed to achieve a lot and have also experienced much over the past couple of days that has affected our lives. On the surface we have done a lot of work on and around the boat in preparation for the next leg of the adventure.
I always regard Cabo Verde as being the half way mark of the voyage from Cape Town to any Mediterranean destination. It may not be precise in terms of distance traveled and still to go but the total voyage is split in two by the sailing that takes place. From our beginning in Cape Town we have predominantly following winds in the South Atlantic that allows the boat to move along with wind and wave in unison, surging ahead with the rise and fall of the swell and the sails billowing out whilst we run before the wind. After crossing the ITCZ we have the wind and wave patterns from ahead and have to work hard to gain precious miles beating to windward. On one tack many miles can be gained but hen on the next tack the best course can be as much as at right angles to that which is desired so it becomes a game of two steps forward and one step back.
To achieve this effectively we need the boat in the best condition possible and to this end we have worked for the past two days. The mast and rigging has been checked thoroughly. At one time we had both Bellomino and Vittorio aloft simultaneously doing the necessary work. A full inspection of the engine room has been done ensuring that all oil levels are correct as well the various mountings and hoses being checked for tightness and leaks. One of the water makers needed a lot of attention so we are also confident of having adequate fresh water as needed.
At the end of the to do list was the filling of our fuel tanks, ordering the fuel early this morning it was promised for delivery mid afternoon but island time is island time and the truck arrived much later. The filling nozzle was too large for the deck fitting so was changed for a smaller one but this regrettably did not have a trigger operated valve. In the process of starting the pump on the truck there was so much pressure that we ended up with a virtual geyser spewing fuel back out of the filling pipe and onto the deck. For the first time ever I have had fuel all over myself and the deck. Fortunately we had taken the precaution of having a water hose handy and I was able to wash my eyes out swiftly.
We wanted to depart right after refueling but with the need to extensively clean the deck we made our way back to the anchoring area where Bellomino and Enzo toiled until well after dark with the task.
We are now ready to depart early in the morning but are all aware that we will not be continuing as we arrived. Sadly we said farewell to Paulo and Riccardo who have returned home. Paulo was not well for a few days and felt it prudent not to risk the situation any further. With the delays experienced in Cape Town Riccardo was running out of time on his leave of absence from work and as such needed to get back to work.
I shared my watches with both of them and will miss their company. Also I trust that you will all understand my motives for not saying anything too soon out of respect for their personal needs.
This afternoon I spent a lot of time gathering fresh weather and synoptic information for our route ahead.
So I say BUONO NOTTE from the anchorage here in Praia for in the morning we will sail on.
Picture: Vallentina, gourmet chef prepares home-made pasta.
My apologies to all for having let a couple of days slip by without writing but we have all been rather pre-occupied with the events around the boat. These things happen and we cope with them and then move on. But first lets get the chronological order correct. Drafted the other morning lets share this piece first.
Groping for my small pocket torch i shine it on my watch to see that it is five twenty five in the morning on our ships time. I am due on watch at five thirty and start to get ready. Its not too cold and only a light jacket and my safety harness go on over a shirt and short pants. The feeling is a bit surreal as my body clock has woken me without an alarm on time. Having sailed through three time zones since our departure from Cape Town our ships clock and the passage of the sun are out of sync. My conscience has followed our clocks but my body wants to wait for the sun to come up and start the day. Making my way to the cockpit Riccado is at the wheel steering with the wind from ahead as it had been since earlier. I take the man-over-board alarm from Enzo and wish him a good sleep as I step up next to Riccado to familiarize myself with the conditions. In two minutes I am ready and step in to the wheel as he steps out to go on standby and have a break.
The wind is around twenty knots with a swell of two and a half to three meters while the boat is doing eleven knots. The sky that had some clear patches last nigh is now completely overcast and the waning moon set a while ago so it is very dark. Checking the course on the compass and watching the wind angle I hold the boat steady as I can whilst hurtling into the black abyss. It's too dark to see the waves so one tries to feel the and not let the boat slam over them but to feed it over in a steady motion. The wind angle is fluctuating a bit as well as arriving in gusts during which the speed surges to over twelve knots. As the speed surges so does the adrenaline and I one with the boat, barefoot on the teak deck I can feel it's every movement like a heart beat. Unexpectedly Riccardo stands up and says that it is time to wake Vittorio for his watch. In disbelief I check the time with him as I can not believe that I have been at the wheel for an hour and a half. Time is not relevant when so occupied and frightfully busy with something you are enjoying and is giving purpose to your being. Vittorio comes into the cockpit smiling as always and is anxious to take the wheel right away. I sit down taking a long drink from my water-bottle and assume the standby position keeping an eye on the surrounding conditions. I watch the sky waiting for the new day to arrive as I relish my surroundings and our progress on Mrs. Marietta's maiden voyage.
For the past few days we have been seeing sargasso weed floating on the surface. It first appeared as small pieces and then gathered into larger mats between one and two meters square. Now however with the stronger wind from the north it is being blown into long lines that stretch across the surface of the sea, sometimes I can not even see the end of the line.
The weather has not followed the forecasts that we have been getting and the wind is a lot stronger than expected. Taking this into account together with low fuel levels we decide to make for Praia on the southern most of the Cabo Verde islands.
We were to pass close to the west of Santiago so there is little change to our heading and it becomes possible to enter the harbour and anchor for some shelter.
So here we are anchored in the harbour area of Praia where as is so often in remote places nothing happens over the weekend. We have busied ourselves with general maintenance and preparation for the next leg whilst waiting to get fuel tomorrow morning. Our position on the aprs beacon is 14 deg 54.6 min and 023 deg 30.3 min reflects this.
Thanks to Vittorio for a contribution to today's blog.
Ieri ore 23 :30 ora locale è arrivato il taxi per portare Paolo e Riccardo in aeroporto per rientrare in Italia.
L'attesa è stata lunga e triste per tutti, per sdrammatizzare abbiamo visto un film "Taxxi 1", Luca mio figlio vede sempre con molto piacere, centrato sulle corse delle auto. Quando il suo taxi si è presentato in banchina, Paolo che proprio non voleva abbandonare la barca, ha chiesto al taxista se poteva ritornare dopo mezz'ora. Si percepiva che oltre la sofferenza fisica, mentalmente non voleva abbandonare l'idea di completare il viaggio di rientro. Paolo è un amico speciale, uno con cui si sogna, si ride, si scherza anche in situazioni più o meno drammatiche. Paolo è stato lo spirito del gruppo, che voi tutti avete percepito. Personalmente avere Paolo al mio fianco era riuscire a sognare al di sopra della mia immaginazione. E' stato sicuramente decisivo nella scelta di partire. Non vorrei diventare troppo triste e romantico ma per me, alcuni amici, come mia moglie Serena conosce bene, sono molto importanti, Paolo è uno di quelli.
Per me, il bello di intraprendere delle avventure è riuscire a capire le priorità della vita. Riesco a rivalutare i rapporti familiari che nella vita di tutti i giorni si offuscano dalla contingenza giornaliera. Vivere il mare mi rinforza la voglia di stringere tra le braccia Serena mia moglie, andare a vedere una partita di palla a nuoto di mio figlio Luca, o una gara della mia splendida figlia Giulia.
Chi mi conosce sa che ho scritto già troppo.
Paolo buon rientro, non ti preoccupare ci sono sempre per te amici che aspettano di passare lo stretto navigando e contemporaneamente sognando.
05/01/2012, 11 deg 19 min N 021 deg 04 min W
Picture: Sushi - Paulo's favourite
It's fantastic getting replies back so quickly and appreciated by everyone.
Sleep is a precious commodity that is taken for granted in the city. One goes through the day, enjoys the evening with friends or the television and the heads off to bed for an uninterrupted, re-vitalizing sleep to prepare for the next day. Here however there is never the possibility of going through the night fast asleep. Our watch roster continues and although there are theoretically six hours between ones watches there are also other things to so sleep is gleaned in short spells both day and night whenever one can. Sometimes one is not actually tired but knowing that a watch duty will be required soon then we need to cultivate the habit of resting before hand. One of my favorites is from three to five in the afternoon. If I am able to get that little "power-nap" then I am able to head into the night duties easily. It is also necessary to take care at all times of others needing to rest and respect this with quiet on their behalf.
As many of the exciting things that we are seeing and experiencing there are also the mundane. It is not unusual to see one of us sitting with a bucket doing some personal laundry.
A strange feature of this voyage is the continuous cloud cover that we have had. Prior to St. Helena and continuing northwards the sky was mostly overcast but with good visibility. Often there are the most spectacular sunsets but I only recall one such opportunity to photograph the scene. For the past few days the sky has had a hazy appearance with poor visibility as if there is a mist around us but at a short distance.
A little earlier a ship passed and whist we monitored it on the radar at about five miles distance it was not visible as it normally would be. These are the tropics and the humidity is quite high so perhaps this has something to do with it. But it just goes to show that out here no two days are the same.
Valentinna has asked to make a contribution to the blog so here it is;
Un saluto a tutte la persone che amo :``siete piu vicine che mai! piu di quando lo siete fisicamente''. Auguro un buon anno nuovo a tutti quanti, e di provare la stessa sensazione che ho provato io sotto una grande scia di una stella cadente.
Vi auguro di essere cosi' sazi da non avere desideri da esprimere per il nuovo anno ma solo un sentimento di gratitudine ad ogni vostro respiro... solo per il semplice motivo di farlo!!!! "certo, sotto un infinito cielo stellato e una stella cadente viene meglio!!"
Comunque, vorrei anche scrivere di una persona, TOM.
Who is Tom?
E' un compagno di viaggio speciale, sempre presente con rispetto e riservatezza. Una persona unica e profonda come queste acque.
Grazie a lui inoltre possiamo ricevere i vostri commenti o scrivere e soprattutto per me, far vedere a mia nonna che lo gnocco non teme il mare!!
Un abbraccio special alla mia famiglia e al mio uomo preferito, ciao Papy!
It is early evening and I hope to get this away before going on watch.
Now at 11 deg 19 min North and 021 deg 04 min West.
Picture: Blackfish swimming along Mrs. Marietta
Most of my early voyages were made with very little outside contact for long periods and just a phone call from some remote destination. Technology has changed this and now it is much easier to stay in touch with a wider field of interested folk. In fact for those in the city there is such acceptance of the instantaneous gratification of the internet that the lack of it is seen as something bordering on a disaster. Whatever happened to " No news is Good news ". But jokes aside using the system that we are it is very pleasing to be reaching out to others and receiving their wishes and comments back. There is such joy in sharing. Not only do we have the new visitors in the form of the families and friends of those on board but some old friends have popped it in to say hello as well. Paula from her armchair in Ireland, it's great to have you along again. Then there is also Lynn with the K4 call-sign who is also tracking us on the aprs site ( how're the signals? ).
Yesterday afternoon just before the sun set a small pod of whales were sighted and although we slowed to a crawl and tried to approach carefully it was not possible to get really close to make an identification but we were treated to a spectacular tail wave which Dudi was able to photograph. In it the sea has a pinkish glow of the setting sun reflected onto the water. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did the experience.
There have been a few groups of dolphins playing in the bow-wave of the boat from time to time. These have mostly been the Atlantic Spotted Dolphin. Today however when the cry of " Dolphini " went out we were greeted by not only the smaller Atlantic dolphins but another group of larger dark colored animals slowly swimming along. They would break the surface gently to breath and then slide back into the water. The true dolphins came to the boat but the other larger ones ignored it completely. This is the typical behavior of a group which my book on Dolphins and Whales calls the Blackfish. These are the Pilot whales and includes RISSO'S DOLPHIN which I feel these were. Wonderfully gentle in their behavior they moved along breaking the surface every now and again, some times alone or sometimes in twos and threes. Cameras clicked away like the paparazzi but they took no notice and we took the memories.
Night is upon us and the night watches have started so sleep well and see you next time from 08 deg 25 min North and 019 deg 59 min West.