Weather and WHALES!!

Update. Yesterday was pretty rotten. Grey, dreary, chilly and rained in patches. Little squalls would catch up to us, sometimes with higher winds, sometimes just rain. Wind was 15-20 knots, gusting 30 occasionally. We have two headsails out now, wing and wing. This pulls the boat along by the nose so the autopilot has an easier time and doesn’t kick off. Too rolly for much cooking so it was fried eggs and toast with rhubarb jam for breakfast and canned tomato soup for dinner.

Today was a different story though. Cloudy but still plenty of blue sky, warmer and a little Lighter winds and smaller waves. It was warm enough to take baths in rainwater Layla caught yesterday. Then the highlight that threw out the schedule:

Whales! Lots of whales. At first I thought they were killer whales because they were black with bright white undersides. Then I realized they had small dorsal fins more like a dolphin. They rarely surfaced and then it was quick. Eventually I got a look at a face and they are baleen whales. Possibly smaller than Orcas, or similar size. I expected 15 or 20, but they kept coming over about 3 hours. There must have been about 50. We were moving at about 4-5 kts and they about 6kts so they slowly passed us by. Very spread out. They often paused by my water turbine which is towed about 30 m behind the boat and then pass close to, then under. Like they were checking out what kind of an animal we are. It was very cool and especially for Layla who has never seen a whale in the wild. Lots of pics and video taken, most of it probably worthless. Thank goodness for digital.

From Mikki: So I searched small baleen whales and found the most likely (because of size and color) to be the Pygmy Right Whale. Which is found in those waters. Sightings are rare. So it was a pretty cool event.

Pygmy Right Whale

They grow to be about 15-20 feet long and not much data is available for them.

Notice also the small dorsal fin that Captain Hoy mentioned.

Update by Hoy, 28 Jan: After the trip I have some pics. I think Mikki was right and it was a large pod of Pygmy Right Whales. So cool to see them like that.

Pygmy Right Whale
Pygmy Right Whale
Pygmy Right Whale
Pygmy Right Whale
Pygmy Right Whale
Pygmy Right Whale
Pygmy Right Whale

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