Thursday, May 13, 2010

Whale of a Hug!!!

Other Denizens of the Deep

Kathy and I had the experience of a lifetime on a passage from the Canary Islands to the Cape Verde Islands. Surrounded by more than 50 Pilot whales up to 25 feet long they made us part of their pod for an hour and a half. Swimming within inches of the boat with the occasional nuzzle and hug was incredible. Whale breath, splashes from flukes and tails, vocalizing everything that one could hope for!

We put on some music and the whales started to vocalize quite loudly as though singing along. When we turned off the music they went back to their previous level of communication which is still quite impressive when heard through the hull of a sailboat.

As the sun was going down we reefed the sail, changed course a little and they went on their way.

Figure 1 - Adult Pilot Whale

We have been visited by many other whale species during our travels including Killer, Sperm, Humpback, Fin, Minke, Beluga, and Blue whales.

Although not a whale, we had a Basking Shark follow Easy Go within one metre of the rudder off the coast of Nova Scotia. This plankton eating shark was almost as long as Easy Go and inspired the theme music of the movie "Jaws" while keeping us company. Tiger sharks also visit during open ocean passages discouraging any thoughts of swimming. Hammerhead sharks are common in the Azores and will come to the side of the boat when the dishwater is discharged to see if there are any tidbits.

Figure 2 - Minke Whale

The minke whale (above) kept us company for three days while we cruised in the areas of Georges Bank and Browns Bank near the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. We forgot it was there as we became used to its presence and would be startled when it came up for a breath during the night watch. This whale was particularly friendly and would swim beside us upside down giving us a view of its belly and would occasionally fall astern for a quick nap before catching up to us. After three days it simply went away as mysteriously as it arrived.

Dolphins and porpoises are frequent visitors. On one passage south of Cuba dolphins led us through a tricky pass on a coral reef. They seem to watch out and assist boats whenever they can.


  1. Dear Bob and Kathy, Now that we have a steady internet connection we can keep an eye on your website!! Looking forward to following your adventures :-) Queimarla is happily floating on a mooring in Nelsons Bay, New South Wales, Australia, while we set up a residence consisting of 4 walls and a tin roof, hot water on call, resident chooks and a fantastic view over vineyards, one and a half hours drive away inland - and loving it! Even Molly is in doggy heaven rediscovering the art of digging and - digging - and more digging. Work is happening and not too horrible, or maybe it is just the nice change from slogging around on a yacht for the last 4 years!! Keep up the news and have great EASY GO adventures!! XX Barb and Paul

  2. Dear Bob and Kathy, this is a great addition. Charlie and Audrey are due in to New Orleans this evening. They will be here in Natchez on the 19th. I will pass this info on to them. Johnny's little boy(3)started preschool this week and has become a great source of entertainment. Keep up the postings. UNC