Monday, December 6, 2010

21 27'N, 18 23'W

Where else in the world can one be in the presence of such grace and beauty? Motor sailing last night at sunset through glassy lilac seas we spotted a pod of what we believe were Short-finned Pilot Whales. Their squat rounded fins sliced the surface and their bubbles spun patterns of circles across the mirrored surface. It was so calm we stopped, turned the engine off and waited. About 15-20 fins and backs bobbed on the sea, reflecting the sinking African sun. More fins broke the surface and the pod came closer. Three spy-hopped, peering curiously at us, permanent smiles spread across their faces. Their bumped heads were instantly recognizable. We spun slowly around in the current and were surrounded, the pod moving in for a better look.

Exhaling with deep fffuffs, a light sea mist puffed from their breathing holes. We had front seats to our own private show. Fffuff, Fffuf, Fffuff, listening to their deep relaxed breathing was as incredible as seeing their smiling faces peek out when they broke the surface or their graceful fins arch by. Words don't describe the beauty or the feeling of gratitude and respect we feel.

Darkness came quickly and I was too wound up to sleep, lying in the sea berth at 19:30 I breathed deeply with my new found friends and somehow managed to sleep. Twenty two hundred hours came too quickly. The horizon line had vanished with a belt around the sea. It was so black it was impossibly to separate water from air. Warmer still, we no longer wear our foulies on watch and are still gratefully barefoot.

Dawn came slowly, a dull mauve sky stretched along a thin veil of cirrus clouds. Today has been a lazy day of sailing on the beam in light winds with some motor sailing. The seas have begun to build and roll lazily by. They're up to 8 feet now and expect to be 12-15 by midnight. No fish on the lines yet. Here's to hoping and being grateful for what we've got.

No comments: