Thursday, September 08, 2011

Happy Dance - I have swum with the whales!

This evening just before dusk a pod of humpback whales were feeding on a line about 300 m or so out beyound the boats.  One inflatable was out there, and I tossed into the dinghy my wetsuit jacket, fins etc. and rowed out.  The inflatable came back to the boats but the whales were still there so I rowed out but didn't get in the water - alone and what do I do with the dinghy.

Anyway, Kurt off Discovery came out with his daughter in thier inflatable to watch, and as the whales moved away I decided "what the heck, when do you get any chance at all?" so I got him to take my dinghy and I bailed overboard and started to swim. 

A km or more later, after the whales turned inland and back I was among them - like 'touching distance" (2 m or less at times).  There were 6 - a cow and calf (the latter about the size of Osprey our old 27 foot sailboat) and a couple of really BIG ones, gently rolling around like big gliders underwater.  They come up and blow and gently roll below and sound to feed I guess. 

Each one came by and gave me a very close look - I guess I was a curiosity like some clumsy dolphin sized thing - clearly no threat. Anyway, I was right with them for 15+ minutes but it was getting dark - sky is overcast so I thought it was prudent to swim back to Kurt and the dinghy.

What a wonderful experience.  I will however sleep tonight, I think I covered probably 3+ km, much of it "at speed'.  I don't think I'm as out of shape though as I thought since I'm not wiped out, just pleasantly fatigued.

So - hope the surfing is going well.  Talked to mom on the radio tonight and gather all is well.

Take care.
Dad
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At 02/09/2011 5:50 AM (utc) our position was 19°03.29'S 169°55.44'W