ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 9 // Time!? You’re Talking Time Man?!

Time, dude. I sat down to write thinking it’s been a couple of days since I put anything down here. Guess what the date of the last sheet is? - February 1. The day before YESTERDAY! Here I was all prepared to write about how time just goes on and on and on and one offshore on these extra long passages, how several days go by without you really noticing, how, as our friend Tom puts it, ‘the minutes and hours go by slowly, but the days go by fast.’ All of that is true of course, I just had it backwards. Yesterday feels like an eternity ago, and yet here we are. (Incidentally, in real-time now in Antigua, I’m reading John Kretschmer’s new book ‘Sailing to the Edge of Time’ which is exactly about the above. It’s great.)

A whale came to visit on my mom’s birthday, after I had written that tearful post about stargazing early in the morning, before dawn. Later that day the rains came while I was on watch, again alone, and RIGHT next to the boat a 20-30-foot minke whale made his presence known with a puff of air and a glimpse of his dorsal fin. He stayed with me for over an hour, diving and playing under the boat. Once, off to starboard, he banked right, showing off his white belly and flippers, then continued through a full barrel roll before arching left and under the boat again, appearing on the other side, to port. When I’d lose sight of him, inevitably I’d glance astern and see him surfing in the swell behind us, nosing up for a breath JUST off the port quarter, then gliding effortlessly past and doing his dive/barrel roll routine and making another lap. When I alerted the crew, he mysteriously glided off, returning only when everyone else went back down below and out of the rain, returning when I was alone again.

Thar she blows! We actually encountered this Fin Whale on the way to Svalbard last summer. I didn’t have a photo of mom’s birthday whale!

Do you believe in reincarnation? Or some form of it? Can the spirit of lost loved ones inhabit animals and make their presence felt when it’s most needed? My mom thought so. That’s the only whale we’ve seen in 15 days at sea...coincidence?