Seablog: In which Serendipity saves the day

Wind all wrong. 36hrs of monsoon style rain was epic. Cloud formations incredible. Tried rowing a few times but being blown South faster than we could make West. Sooty albie dropped by. Surprise can of sprite for breakfast. And…..just as I was recovering from the effort of putting Bob out for the second time, we had an awesome triad of visitors. Exciting in all senses of of the word. Massive shape coming towards me under the water. Woozel? Shark? Heffalump?Whale? Scared. Heart fluttering. Then a huge shiny black back rolled up and over the surface, with a triumphant ‘Phrffff!’. Whale it is, then. Mahooosive! More than a tad scary as he circled us at close range, swimming right over all of Bob’s lines. I had horrid visions of entanglement – I’ve seen it before and it’s an ugly, helpless sight and situation. I had to reach down my throat and push my heart back into its normal place once I had watched them surface a few more times and disappear off South, blowing as they went. I say Sei whales after studying my ID book but we’ll see what my personal whaleologist buddy, Susie, says.

Happy day then, even if we are being blown away from Mauritius and I have feet like soggy crepe paper and toes like shrivelled chipolata sausages. Three giant mammals, an albatross and a surprise can of Sprite have made it all good again.

S, D & Bob x x x

Xtina – 6 hrs aheadand yes, full waterproofs, sowester hat and thermals etc. Bad weather on any ocean can be cold!

John Williams – It’s called ‘brain mush’ on this boat! Always always always tied on.

Norman Pater – It was ages ago -81 days ages ago. Will you go and have a juicy steak for me?!

Tery Baldwinson – No tail or scales yet… But there’s still time.

Susie ‘Our in-house whale expert’ Calderan -SIGHTING!!! Big big big big big. Black. 2 holes with ridge. Quite tall, erect dorsal, not massively falcate at all, more backwards leaning than falcate but more upright than either. Appeared well after dorsal which came after a big bend of black back. Looked brown under the water, pale underneath. Left big footprints. Stayed shallow. Sei whales methinks therefore?

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11 Responses to Seablog: In which Serendipity saves the day

  1. ian says:

    hi sarah,wow,it all sounds very dramatic,glad you came through your various encounters ok and long may the little suprises eg sprite continue!
    cheers to you dippers etc

    ps here’s hoping nothing else gets”tangled up in bob”

  2. Sue says:

    That sounds amazing Sarah, thank goodness it didn’t get tangled up with you, that doesn’t bear thinking about! Hope the wind turns round the right way soon, as it must be so disheartening to be going backwards…..I think R4P had the same experience this week too.
    Look after yourself.

  3. Eric Stam says:

    Hello Sarah,

    Just a quick mail to let you know that you have more admirers now in France. We all live on the coastline of the mediterean sea ( near spain) and we read your blog every day.
    All the best and God speed,


  4. Clare says:

    Nice to know you’re still finding surprises tucked away. Is your boat a secret tardis or somesuch? Will toast you with champagne and strawberries this afternoon at what promises to be a soggy British June barbequeue. Look forward to next installment on Radcliffe & Maconie. Posted a note on my facebook page telling people all about you so trying to spread the word!

  5. Sarah… fancy a swap? 43 degrees in Nepal jungle… living with Maoist Army… not enough water here 🙁 Maybe I could pop over and give you a gentle push west…

  6. Grandma Barb says:

    MAN O MAN! Sarah,
    What in the world is happening out there? It sounds like the Indian
    Ocean is having a bad day, or is that the understatement of the day?
    I second Sus’s remark,look after you’re self.
    As always
    Grandma Barb

  7. Barry Gumbert says:

    David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930)
    Whales Weep Not!

    They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains
    the hottest blood of all, and the wildest, the most urgent.

    All the whales in the wider deeps, hot are they, as they urge
    on and on, and dive beneath the icebergs.
    The right whales, the sperm-whales, the hammer-heads, the killers
    there they blow, there they blow, hot wild white breath out of the sea!

    And they rock, and they rock, through the sensual ageless ages
    on the depths of the seven seas,
    and through the salt they reel with drunk delight
    and in the tropics tremble they with love
    and roll with massive, strong desire, like gods.
    Then the great bull lies up against his bride
    in the blue deep of the sea

    as mountain pressing on mountain, in the zest of life:
    and out of the inward roaring of the inner red ocean of whale blood
    the long tip reaches strong, intense, like the maelstrom-tip, and comes to rest
    in the clasp and the soft, wild clutch of a she-whale’s fathomless body.

    And over the bridge of the whale’s strong phallus, linking the wonder of whales
    the burning archangels under the sea keep passing, back and forth,
    keep passing archangels of bliss
    from him to her, from her to him, great Cherubim
    that wait on whales in mid-ocean, suspended in the waves of the sea
    great heaven of whales in the waters, old hierarchies.
    And enormous mother whales lie dreaming suckling their whale-tender young
    and dreaming with strange whale eyes wide open in the waters of the beginning and the end.

    And bull-whales gather their women and whale-calves in a ring
    when danger threatens, on the surface of the ceaseless flood
    and range themselves like great fierce Seraphim facing the threat
    encircling their huddled monsters of love.
    and all this happiness in the sea, in the salt
    where God is also love, but without words:
    and Aphrodite is the wife of whales
    most happy, happy she!

    and Venus among the fishes skips and is a she-dolphin
    she is the gay, delighted porpoise sporting with love and the sea
    she is the female tunny-fish, round and happy among the males

    and dense with happy blood, dark rainbow bliss in the sea.

  8. xtina says:

    You made me laugh so much/i shouldn’t be laughing at you as it sounds such
    heart pounding stuff, but it’s just your way of describing it!!

    You sticking your finger down your throat to push your heart back into place,Bob being attacked, that’s not funny ~ action stations!!
    and me here on a dull wet afternoon,watching a few sparrows swinging on the bird table as if it’s Winter time (well Sarah it could be,you haven’t missed much yet.!!)
    Please take care
    lv xT

  9. robin says:

    Hello, I have been following your blog for months (or is it years?) and it makes me realise that “feeling tired after a hard day at the office” is trivial nonsense compared to what you are experiencing. I love the positive slant you put into any grim situation. When is your book being published? Put me on your ‘purchase now’ list.

  10. Tim Scarrott says:

    Hi Sarah,

    This is a Tim off Nigeria(from Perth WA) on an oil rig- Just quick note to say “Well Done” so far and “Good Luck” ahead for this mighty challenge you have set yourself- you are doing so well and I wish you all the very best in the coming days- Bloody fine effort and ‘Bon Chance’ -Several folk here are willing you on and in awe of your bravery and persistance- All the best Tim –

  11. Pam Stocker says:

    Love your poetry contributions, Barry Gumbert _ Not sure if that is your real name or a Blog identity, but Barry it is for now. Sarah – and Tweedles – don’t forget we’re paying for lost miles – keep count and charge the set £1 tarriff per mile. Last essay for me coming up. Nearly there. Keep going, Sarah, and lots of encouraging from not damp rutland for your festering feet and chippolata tootsies. Sounds a particularly nasty barbecue menu. How do you look after them? It sounds as though the old (young) body is feeling the challenge. How are the shoulders? Whales sound awesome. As do the clouds. Love Pam

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