SHOOING A WHALE AWAY
19 September 2011 | 2-3 days from Rodriquez
Ah, what a perfect day, at last. The Indian Ocean has showed her other face cognizant perhaps of the beating she dished out last week. Sunny all day, 12 knots of wind, smooth seas and so I practiced. For, very soon comes the Cape of Good Hope, a famous and sometimes treacherous place, a place that calls for the ability to make quick changes in strategy, sails, routes, etc. in reaction to quick changes in the weather, ie. a gale every four days apparently-yikes! So how to get a sail up quickly without the classic method of turning on the engines, putting her into wind, stopping her, make the sail change, and reverse the procedure. How to keep going and get that sail up?
But all thats for later.... for now, as though to confirm the new welcoming aspect of this ocean, I was visited by a smallish whale last night. In my berth I heard a strange snorting whooshing sound-actually like a horse sneezing. Leaping out of bed, I ran to the port railing and there she was, sidling up to the port hull. The dark shadow then dove ever so smoothly and for the next hour swam under Shearwater, between the two hulls with only her massive tail visible off the stern of the boat with a whooshing snort every 3 minutes. What a gift, until I realized that one errant flick of that massive tail and my rudder could be bent to uselessness...well what to do?
But then, what choice did I have? How do you shoo-away a whale!