One thing about sailing far offshore, you never know what you are going to see. Most of the time, you DO know. Water. Sky. More of the same. But every once in a while, the ocean surprises.
This morning I was setting the fishing lines off the back of the boat while Karen was on watch. As the lures dropped back, in the clear water, I saw a large white shadow. “Hmmm,” I think, “How did Karen almost run over that big sheet of floating plastic and not see it?” Then I glance away, and then the shadow is gone. I see a large swirl in the water, and I am trying to process what I am seeing. Suddenly, it all resolves, when the white shadows reappear they are the flippers of a large humpback whale who is shadowing us about 100 feet astern. A few breaths, and he disappears, apparently deciding we weren’t all that interesting.
In weather news, the distant high pressure system that has been driving the trade winds we have been riding for most of the past week has been slowly approaching. It has now arrived at our location, and that means a clear sunny sky—and no wind. With a wind speed of 4 knots and a boat speed dropping below 2 knots, I finally surrender and start to burn some more dinosaur juice. If the models are correct, we’ll have about 24 so hours of motor time before our arrival in Antigua.
Read that there is a volcano watch/alert for the Caribbean. Risk assessment – low probability, potential impact – catastrophic. Overall risk – moderate.