- 12 Nov 2016
Others, further west and close to the rhumb line, are hove-to/lying to drogue.SYLVIA 01/07/21
Sadler 26 (Brian Judd)
Beautiful dawn sunrise on the 1st July. Pink tinged clouds set against the palest blue sky, with streaks of gold filament marking the suns passage. Soon gone, ephemeral. The nights are longer than home in Scotland at this time of year. I had an exciting and frankly terrifying encounter yesterday evening. The wind and waves had gradually increased. I reefed the main sail twice and furled the genoa to half. Around 8 o'clock I heard a loud woosh and rushed to the deck in my socks in time to see a large fin and broad dark back pass close to the stern quarter and down the side of the boat. Standing up and acutely aware I did not have my safety harness on it was immediately apparent these were orca, killer whales. I glanced behind me. We have all seen those films showing orca dragging seals off ice flows and tossing them about like football. They were definitely interested in the boat and possibly me. I grabbed my phone which wasn't switched on. The male orca was taking an interest in my rudder swimming side on so I could see his white markings. (confirmation he was male came later, females have a more curved fin. I guessed it from his size.) The phone was taking forever to come on. I stood transfixed as he came closer to the rudder and windvane blade. Orca have been known to damage yachts or one individual has off Finisterre. Hopefully this is not that one. He seemed to look at me and I him. Evidently he found me unappitising. Orcas don't eat humans but have been known to kill when driven mad in captivity. This orca then swam under the rudder no doubt thinking what an ungainly creature my sleek yacht was. He then rejoined his family swimming along side. I could see now there were two adults and a juvenile. The phone had finally switched on and I recorded a lengthy segment. As they swam off I found I hadn't pressed record. (At 1200) 4.7kts wind southerly high 20s course 260.