Sunday, July 20 – Whales!

3:30 PM PDT, Sunday, July 20 Lat 24d 05m N, 155d 05m W Speed 7.7kts, Course 220d mag. 215 miles to go!
Today we heard a whale! We saw it too, a small dark one pacing the boat as we raced along, 8 kts towards the finish line. But the first indication was a strange squeak we could hear below in the galley. We searched in vain for the source of this new sound, but it wasn’t until the crew on deck shouted “A Whale!” that the mystery was solved. There may have been two whales, but we saw fifteen-foot all-black creature swim from port to starboard and back several times. It had a short but high-aspect dorsal fin, fairly far forward, much like a killer whale’s but shorter. We couldn’t match the appearance to any of the whales in our abbreviated identification guide.
It’s been a bouncy night and day as we race south to Kaneohe Bay, running almost parallel to the tradewinds swells. The wind has been brisk, up to 27 kts, and we are sailing fast with reefed main and genoa. We saw lightning off in the distance last night, and have been told that there was quite a thunder storm in Kaneohe, but out here all we could see was the distant glow.
It’s warm and humid belowdecks. We have the ports and hatches sealed to keep the splashes out, but the dorade vents do provide some airflow. And it just started raining.
Last night we had coleslaw and beef stew over rice, and tonight will be chili. It’s rolling too much for anything complicated
We are now hoping for a Monday evening arrival at the finish line. Once we cross it will take about an hour and a half before we are tied up at the Kaneohe Yacht Club.
Regards, Paul / VALIS

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