Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Whale of a tale

So there we were on our lesson day...  just finishing lunch while hove-to.  For those non Sailors, to "heave-to" is a way of virtually staying in the same spot while your sails are up.  You use your foresail, and main sail against the force of the keel and rudder to maintain position in the water.
My and my three ladies were having an awesome day.  Just enough wind in the morning, and virtually none when it became docking practice time.  Sunshine.  Good people.
What else could you ask for????

Well WHALES of course!!!    At that moment, just when Heather went down to use the head, up pops three Orcas!  Holy amazing..  and close enough we could reach them... well, almost.  a mum and her pups I assume.  but thats not all... while we were revelling in the glory of having whales right beside us, up pops two more off to the Starboard side! .... Then, forward- three more,... but wait... they were headed strait towards us and only about 50 yards off!  down they went! ....  ...  Unsure of where they were coming up, I told the girls to hang on.  They did eventually pop up just aft of us, and carried on their way.
In all I think there were at least 12 of them,  including two males in the distance.  In our area, its rare to see Orcas, and especially that close up.

I had three ladies onboard that day.  One of them has been overcoming a fear of Sailing after a very traumatic experience years ago. She is an awesome student and very eager to learn.  We look forward to having her crew with us on some Wednesday racing.  The Second sailed years ago, kayaks mostly now, but wants to get back to it.  The third was quite new to Sailing and trying to see the value in it.  Even though her husband is an avid sailor, she never took to it very well; fear and not understanding can be large obstacles.   The next day she asked her husband to take her out on their boat and they had a beautiful enjoyable day which included a second spotting of our whale friends.

We are taking that as a sign.  Positive and motivational.  It makes you realize how precious our waters are and how much you need to be aware of your surroundings. You never know what is in your path.
After all,  Life is short.