Whales and goosewings

Our current position in 33 56.35 N, 11 29.56W. Plan for the next 24 hours is just to keep going as we are! Blog post below.

We had a great day’s sailing yesterday — bright sunshine and wind building from the north-east made for some fantastic sailing conditions. At lunchtime, everyone was up on deck for some Greek salad, when a whale breached on our port stern quarter, less than a boat length away. Much picture taking ensued, though the whale only surfaced a couple of times, so we were unable to identify it — we can say it had a curved fin and was probably quite small so most likely a minke whale. After that, having made sure that whales do not eat people, everyone went swimming. This included some exciting halyard swinging accompanied by cries of “let go!” which thankfully everyone did before they swung round back into the boat.

Shortly thereafter, we were hailed on the radio by another sailing yacht (a rare sight, hundreds of miles from land), where our conversation went something along the lines of this:

Other yacht: “Yacht Elinca, we were just wondering since you had some sort of spinnaker up and now appear to have stopped, is everything ok?”

Us: “Yes all is fine, we’ve just stopped to go swimming and we’re now washing our hair!”

The other yacht, Solantis, is also bound for the Canaries so we are looking forward to seeing them there.

The night bought some slightly rolly (bad for sleeping) but quite fast sailing. This morning, Jim’s watch were tasked with getting the jib poled out so that we could go “goosewinged”. This means that we have our jib on one side of the boat and the main on the other side, allowing us to catch the optimal amount of wind with the sails. The spinnaker pole keeps the jib out so that it doesn’t collapse. We’re now doing a steady 7 knots, dead on course for the Canaries. We look forward to getting there in a couple of days.

 — Emma

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3 Responses to Whales and goosewings

  1. Anne Crawford says:

    Thank you Emma, I really enjoy reading Elinca’s blogs every day and tack your progress. What an education I am getting too, being very none nautical! Today I have looked up spinnaker , jib, halyard (to haul a yard!), and now know what goose winging is. I can now recognise a sunfish and a minke whale thanks to you all. Sending you all lots of good wishes for sun, wind and blue skies above. Love to Jess,

  2. Paula says:

    Hi everyone – so pleased you have left the rain behind and so jealous about all the whales and dolphins you are getting to see. Tell Nick we saw Ian, Jane and Bill today. They send their love. Bill is very pleased to hear that “let go” is being called. Sounds a great sail and such fun.

  3. Mike says:

    Sounds awesome guys… Glad you’ve found some decent sailing weather too.

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