Ahoy all, it is now time for Aft Port’s all important recollections of the
The morning began with a nearing shortage of hash browns and eggs! Only now after 3 weeks of our Transatlantic crossing have food items started to diminish. Despite this, culinary perfection has still been achieved thanks to our eggcellent cook, Micah. A personal favourite being the delectable puddings (especially the chocolate brownie engulfed tonight!).
Approaching the Mid Atlantic Ridge this morning meant that eyes were extra alert on deck awaiting the long anticipated whales. I, previously called ‘Dora the Explorer’ and ‘dolphin’ among other names, was ever more hopeful than most, willing the whale drought to come to an end. The endless abyssal plain that superseded 5000 metres finally churned up some sub-surface features with the ridge below altering the sea floor’s depth to 2000. This ideal winter habitat out of the big blue brought life into view at last!
Our friendly Yorkshireman, whilst relaxing at the stern was the first to gaze upon the curious creature which was approaching from behind. Many of the voyage crew rose up on deck to the starboard side to view a ghostly creature lurking below the surface, drawing nearer. Creating a turquoise marble effect underwater, a white patch was also visible, raising suspicions that the identity of the leviathan was potentially an orca! However, the cetacean (terminology for whales, dolphins and porpoises), remained underwater to keep its identity temporarily sealed. The light patch moved alongside us and even beneath the ship making it more whale than dolphin in behaviour, (orcas are in fact dolphins!). The supposed whale appeared just below the surface again, titling to reveal a white underbelly – again characteristic of a whale. With the iconic white arm bands coming into view, it was undoubtedly a Minke Whale!
The individual, affectionately named ‘Millie the Minke’ seemed to surface every 5-10 minutes parallel to the ship, revealing its light grey body and arched dorsal fin. During the next hour and a half of periodic surfacing, one by one voyage crew rejoiced at witnessing the feat – sometimes in the form of surfing the swell.
It’s close association with Tenacious also raised suspicions that it believed the ship to be a strange large whale to investigate, or was instead benefiting from the ship’s breaking up of the blankets of seaweed, perhaps revealing small fish below on which to prey.
As I write this before the sun sets up on the Bridge, I was suddenly startled by an explosive exhale! Another Minke surfacing just 10 metres from the ship with such force that it made me jump and leap into action to record its presence. What an eventful day!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the voyage crew and permanent crew on board for being so welcoming and supportive of my wild wildlife afixiation. I was incredibly delighted to share the experience of these magnificent minkes today and I hope it has been an event to remember!
In other news, a nautical quiz will occur tonight, featuring the previous quiz winners ‘Rough-toothed and feeling minke’! Who will win tonight
The Ums (Bosun’s Mates really) won with Nich’s Desperados and Fashion Icon second.