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Hey, I think I see a Whale!

Oct 30, 2012

Location: Martinique to Dominica
Author: JP
I haven’t realized how comfortable I’ve become at being a contortionist in the morning to get out of my nook. As I avoided stepping on my crew on the way down, I was ready to meet the rest of them on deck for a new day of nautical adventures. Today begins the second half of our trip and as sad as that sounds to all of the crew, it also marks that the staff will be stepping out of the scene and letting the all of us take the stage with our accumulated knowledge from the past 40 days. After breakfast I took the helm and guided our crew in the first of our student run passages. Positions were given and sails went up as we cruised out of St. Pierre to new lands. All of us have learned the lines well enough to show each other where things are without the help of staff and our sail raises went smoothly. After plotting our course to steer, we changed up our watch teams and got settled into our passage. Now I wasn’t on deck for this atomic moment, but we had the pleasure of giving a pilot whale the right of way as he came up on our bow! The chances of this happening are quite stunning considering the vastness of the ocean, so this was a pretty special moment. Edward was on bow watch being vigilant as usual and with the whale about 20 ft directly off our bow he hesitantly told Kevin, “I think we’re about to hit a whale.” Within moments Kevin gave the orders to Matt on the helm to head starboard fast, because according to the collision regulations on the high seas, Whales always have the right of way, in any circumstance. Fortunately Matt was nimble on the helm veering just past it with the whale maybe 10 ft off the port side, and everybody made it up on deck to scope out what all the commotion was about. It vanished with the same speed that it appeared, giving a shot from its blow whole before descending back into the watery depths. We pulled into Roseau and dropped our sails like weathered sailors before commencing our below deck boat appreciation. When we finished our cleaning tasks we headed up on deck for deck showers, something I’ve actually grown fond of. Once everyone was squeaky clean we settled into a delicious dinner of steak pasta. We wrapped up our day by having some knowledge dropped on us with student leadership presentations by Van and Will, teaching us how to create a layman’s fire with tools and kite board respectively, skills that any person whose going to be killin’ it at life should have under their belt. We all found our bunks early in preparation for tomorrows adventures. Just another day in paradise.