29 January 2013
13.00 UTC (10.00 Kinship Boat time)
18° 16 ' N / 56° 22' W
Wind E 12-17 kt

Today is two birthdays, my younger brother Erik is becoming 20! And my little girl Anya from Boston is now 12 years old! Happy Birthday to you!

I have a new highlight for the trip. Yesterday we had Walter the Whale visiting the boat. But it started a few days before that. I was sitting in the cockpit and could see something maybe 30 m away from the boat, it looked like it was something big in one of the wave, with a slightly different color. But I didn't pay much attention to it, maybe I am starting to see things? Anyway, about 20 minutes later I saw it again, this time closer to the boat and all of a sudden it surfaced. Dennis, Tim and Andrew saw it as well and we were very excited about it. I looked at Tim and asked him if he was nervous and his comment was "I don't like big animals around my boat". I totally understand him as one of the ARC Europe boat hit a whale at night a few days out of Bermuda and had to abandon ship.

Yesterday as we were taking down the pole, I saw it again, this time off the port bow. It started to swim around the boat, we saw it on port side, swam under the boat and came up on starboard side, turned on its side and played with us for about an hour. We declared it was about 20 feet, about half the size of the boat, a whale, dark gray top and white or light gray belly. A fin like a dolphin (but much bigger) and a face like a whale. We named him Walter the whale (Wally). Does anyone know what kind of whale it could be?

We are now getting closer to land and I can sense it in the air and atmosphere on Kinship.We are starting to see more seaweed in the water, and had a ship a few miles away this morning, second one since we left las Palmas. Dennis is dreaming about a cheeseburger. When I asked Andrew what he was most looking forward to it took him a while before he answered but he came up with "a beer would be nice, and maybe do yoga and surf". Both of us agreed though that we are having such a good time out here that it is almost hard to be excited about land. But I can't wait for the excitement of smelling land as we are getting closer. We have been very good at enjoying the moment, appreciating the weather and the waves, the moon, the wind and the sun and not look at the 'distance to go'.

At the moment all three boys are sitting in the cockpit and enjoying Kinship morning music hour. We started this tradition a few days ago. Dennis had been talking about a Beatles song he couldn't remember the title of. I put on "Here comes the sun" when he and Andrew were in the cockpit just after sunrise, followed by one of the Beatles cd's. Yesterday we listened to Beck and Tim picked Mumford & Sons this morning. Very nice with some tunes!

Everything else is basically normal onboard Kinship. We are eating well, sleeping well and are happy and healthy. The wind got a bit light yesterday but still enough to sail, just motored a few our around sunset. Looks like the wind might hold until we get in, fingers crossed. The squalls are less frequent now and we only had the edge of one yesterday evening. The sky is clear today and the temperature is warm. Thanks to the wind it is not unbearable. The moon came up yesterday about an hour after sunset, big and round, and with the thin clouds in front of it, it almost looked like it had a face.

Dennis and I have been having many interesting dreams on this trip. A few days ago, I was at someones 50th or 60th birthday party. It was a big buffe table of food and I loaded my plate with different salads, bread, quiche, meat etc. As my plate was full, I was just about to dig in and I feel a tap on my arm and Tim says "Mia, it is time for your watch". I could have done anything to get back into the dream and enjoy that food. Dennis had a dream this morning that he and Tim were somewhere and started to argue what restaurant in town had the best pulled pork. Don't know what a dream teller would say about the dreams :)

Not much else to report from Kinship. Hope everyone at home are having a good time!

-Mia

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