Restless Goes Sailing

Killer whales a tale retold

One of my worries en route was orcas or killer whales. There are numerous reports of them attacking yachts off the coast of Portugal, last year a boat from Helensburgh was repeatedly rammed and had a chunk taken out of its rudder. Our new neighbours are on a french yacht from st malo. Exchanging greetings I asked if they had a good trip. Yes, indeed although they were visited by killer whales twice. They seem roughie toughie sailors, so clearly didn’t admit to screaming their heads off but did say it was extremely frightening. There was no wind and they were surrounded by the whales who didn’t touch the boat but we’re making that high pitched whale noise you hear in tv, peer pwee sort of sound. The wind filled in and they sailed away but an hour or so later slowed down. The whales suddenly resurfaced tight around them making their noise. This was in the spooky dark. One of them started hitting the vane steering on the rear of the boat with its head, and then the whales were pushing the boat along at 3knots. The boat is slightly bigger than us a beneteau 37, but the skipper himself said not that robust if tackled by whales. Luckily the wind again filled in and they sailed off without damage. Phew. Their opinion was that orcas are not particularly active at night, hence they didn’t get too excited, particularly as the boat was moving slowly. He also said they don’t like light coloured or red anti foul and he has dark anti foul (which is the paint under the boat). Yes, of course we have red anti foul, i had never heard that before. Now googling to find out about killer whale eyesight, can that be true?

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