Tuesday 22nd October


We’re at 8’14N 24’58W heading due south and planning on continuing that for
the foreseeable future.


A wee moment of excitement in the Doldrums

Generally, there isn’t much to see in the Doldrums. Just the crew being
driven mad by the heat. As much as I don’t like the drone of the engine and
miss the peace of sailing, I am so glad we have it and can cross at a good
speed. Months drifting around in this melting pot does not sound like fun!
We had another swim yesterday which was amazing. No dolphins playing shark
pranks on us today. We kept a good look out, but our swim was peacful and
undisturbed. The water is such a welcome relief – it’s perfect swimming pool
temperature! After our swim we had luxury fresh water showers from our
emergency water containers so that we could fill them up fresh from our
water maker.

Andy’s watch (Me, Andy R, Chris and Nick) thought we had had an exciting
watch last night. We saw 2 ships (ship sightings are rare in these waters)
and then some lightning on the horizon. BUT that was nothing compared to
today’s watch. I’ve been jumping around like an excited child in disney
land. Why? We just saw about 8 sperm whales!!! Think of the famous Moby
Dick – but more peaceful and serene. They came cutting across our bow. We
slowed right down and steered parallell to them, but they carried on
creeping closer until they were just 10 meters of the bow. Sperm whales are
pretty strage looking dark grey creatures. Females can grow up to 11 m and
males up to 18 m. Those we saw were between 10 m and 15 m. They were quite
easy to identify from their hump like dorsal fin – they don’t have a clear
fin like other whale species – and a lumpy ridge down their back from their
dorsal fin to tail. As they got closer we could also see that their blow
hole was at the front and slightly to the side of their square head. We
could also see the wrinkles in their skin which is pretty characteristic for
Sperm whales. I believe the group were at the surface breathing and filling
up on air before diving deep again. Sperm whales are deep divers and are
known to dive as deep as 2,000 m. They can also stay under water for over an
hour before coming up for air. Whilst down in the depths, they mostly hunt
squid, sometimes even giant squid!!

I can’t wait to share this moment in photos when we hit land.
Colette (just calming down now).

p.s We’re now accepting bets on which of the Elinca crew will succumb to
cabin fever first. Answers on a blog post.

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4 Responses to Tuesday 22nd October

  1. Alan Pearson says:

    Message for Andrea:
    In Rio, would you prefer to stay in a hostel near where the boat will be, which is in a dull area (Gloria), or in a hostel in a cool area near Copacabana, Ipanema etc but about 7-8 km from the marina? Please reply either via the shore contact or just stick a sentence in the next blog.

  2. Anne Crawford says:

    Wow what an amazing sight! How brilliant to see those wonderful sperm whales. I imagine you will remember that day for the rest of your lives. So glad they surfaced for you all to see, how exciting. Can’t wait to see the photos.

  3. Suzi says:

    Cabin Fever guess: It’s got to be a toss up between Clare, James and Nick i think….. suggestions for avoidance:
    Clare: Write a list (you know what i mean!), have a super noodle and sing great american railway to anyone who’ll listen!
    James: hide somewhere, pick up a book and pretend noone’s there!
    Nick: Run circuits round the deck (carefully) to burn off some energy!

  4. Gemma says:

    Aww I had posted a reply yday with (very poor) suggestions of how to prevent cabin fever. I promise I didn’t swear… Was it removed or did I do something stupid like not hit send??

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