Eyeball to eyeball

Dec 16
Monday night 8:49 pm South Australia time.

The rice is just about ready to go with a new stew I pulled together during a lovely warm day. We’re running before a 10 knot wind and a 4 metre swell from the SW. The afternoon was a nature encounter bonanza. I had two very curious Minke Whales along side the boat and  I mean hop on their backs close to the boat! I could see them eye ball to eye ball with their black and white bodies about half as long as WW II as they went down the port side of the boat after surfacing around the bow. Of course I am scrambling for a camera and they are saying see yah later.

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photo courtesy Google images

Next encounter I was ready with the camera, this time it was a young wandering albatross and he was curious as well eye ball to eye ball back and forth over the waves and around the boat several times me calling out ” Hi Al” and him almost into the rigging. I had the video camera on or so I thought, ducking and weaving from side to side, keeping in mind the we are off the wind with a following sea, 4 meter swell, and I am trying to film this guy and carry on a conversation at the same time. I think the conversation went well, very one sided mind you, but the video did not happen. I have so much respect for the people who can pull that off. Maybe next time I will concentrate a little more and talk a little less.

Next was a Black Browed Albatross  – ones with the eye liner make up air brushed on. Of course how could I forget them I caught one in my fishing line on my last voyage and held its drowned body in my arms before I gave it up to the deep. Still feel bad about that.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 9.35.25 AM

photo courtesy Google images

There is a very pretty little bird called a storm petrel that dances on the waves flitting to its own music on very long thin black legs. There have been several of these around us today. What is even more extraordinary about these birds is that while I am on deck in the middle of the night, my head light occasionally catches them dancing in the dark. How on earth do they do that without a light?

It is dark now and I have Ron’s latest weather update which calls for wind increasing to 34 knots early tomorrow morning from the west which will work well with that 4 meter swell coming up from the southwest. This should be quite a night! Running before 30+ knots of wind could be a real handful. I think I’ll get ready early with a triple reefed main and a very small jib poled out, may be even the staysail. We shall see how it goes.

I will let you know in the morning. Hope you have quiet night. 


  1. Hey Glenn
    So nice to be receiving these daily updates. They make my day. Wishing you another day of adventure and glad to know the wind is at your back. Yours truly, holy smokes Robin Best to ML too!!

  2. Heather Loenen says

    Beautiful pictures! First a galaxy show and now amazing creatures during the daylight. . …

    Thinking of you as you prepare for all that wind tomorrow.

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