Friday the thirteenth, unlucky for some, so they say.
But it wasnt unlucky for us. At 6.30am Claire spotted some whales. (Our clocks on the boat are set to Brazilian time and today the sun rose above the horizon a few minutes before 5am. (I know because I was up on deck).
We furled the two front sails, started the engine and motored over to them. This boat has an amazingly quiet engine, it has been specially designed. We can hear the noise of a passing cargo ship that is ten miles away on the hydrophones. We cannot hear the noise of our own engine on the hydrophones which are only 400 metres away at the end of a cable. We are able to get close to the whales without disturbing them.
There were twelve sperm whales slowly swimming on the surface, continuously blowing spray in the air as they breathed. It was difficult to take reasonable photos of them but a wonderful sight for half an hour as we gently kept them on our port bow. Eventually they dived and we resumed course North East towards Africa and the Trade Winds. They were swimming on the surface in line together, peacefully with a couple of calves. They seemed to be just hanging about at the surface.
Vassili and Claire, the people running the science on the boat, are writing occasional articles about our activities. I have posted one of these to my blog already. I will continue to post more as they write them. I think you will be able to tell them from my ramblings.
The batteries on my map tracker are running down faster than I expected so I am only switching it on during daylight hours. The waypoints should join up so you may not notice at all.