ICEBEAR Offshore // Whales, Dolphins & Hurricane Eggs

Liz & Jeremy watching the morning’s dolphin show on ICEBEAR’s foredeck.

Dolphins and whales to start the morning! The dawn came clear and sunny for the third day in a row, so despite the lack of wind, we certainly are enjoying the fine, dry weather. When I came up at 0800 for the watch change, several dozen white & black dolphins surrounded the boat, taking turns playing in the bow wave (albeit created by the motor), clearly visible in the dark green ocean and early morning sunshine.

I experimented with putting preventing the mainsail out to port, then sheeting her back in flat. In the end we dropped it and secured it to the boom, as the slight swell is making ICEBEAR roll ever so gently and so the mainsail does nothing but slat back and forth.

An hour after the dolphin show Tom spotted a whale spout to port. I saw the fin and shiny smooth top of a humpback gliding off to port. He spouted a few more times, then disappeared. Then, further in the distance, another spout. And suddenly a huge breach! There on the horizon, several more humpbacks were taking turns breaching and spouting, leaping full-body out of the ocean and crashing down in a huge splash.


“Hard to port, full speed ahead!” I shouted enthusiastically at Bill, who was on the helm. We made speed towards the breaching whales, but they never let us get any closer, diving again before we could get a close view. Nevertheless, we got quite a show from a distance.

The weather is almost too settled now. I took advantage and made hurricane eggs for the crew this morning. Mike & Jack missed out in their bunks. They’ll get treated tomorrow. We’re motoring again and soon will have to switch fuel tanks. Hopefully the wind fills back in around midday, but for the next 36 hours or so it’ll be touch and go whether we can sail or not. I want to get to Cape Race before the fog, which will most likely fill in as the SE’ly arrives ahead of the next low pressure system. From then on it gets messy.

The settled weather was nice…but it wouldn’t last.

We’ve got a decision to make in these next 36 hours - stop at Trepassy or continue nonstop to St. John’s. The timing of daylight should be in our favor, but I’m nervous about the fog and iceberg threat as we close the south coast of Newfoundland. Then again, if we stop, we’ll be stuck for at least 2-3 days, and then when we do finally get a window to get out, there’s undoubtedly going to be a sloppy sea leftover, making for an uncomfortable rounding of Cape Race and final run up to St. John’s.

Wait and see time now.