Saturday, September 18, 2010

A quiet day to whale watch

Mid July weather cooperated very well, with warm southerly winds and less rain than June brought us. With conditions just right, I took my wife out to a secluded beach (which are very hard to find around here with our coastline) that was not facing the wind. We sailed most of the morning and came to this spot which incidentally was my first time here. The Beach was mostly made of small granite stones and easy to walk on.
 Dropping sails and drifting right to the shoreline was easy and with the winds light I just pulled the anchor up the beach with a length of line.
Our island shows an impressive amount of detail in its rock formations and a paradise for the geologists.
Lunch here was mostly of the cold sandwich and hot coffee variety. But the weather was in our favor today and too warm for a hot meal.

 While we were eating the winds dropped out completely and it made for a very peaceful bay for a while.
Lunch ate, a short nap, and we were ready to head out to look for some whales. No rush with the winds still very light.
 We coasted south west back into the main bay near Holyrood and started to spot some whales also going in our direction.
 The winds eventually picked up to a comfortable 10-15 knots and we made good progress, we were averaging about 6-7 knots and enjoying the view.
 The tell tales are helping me set the sails better than I have been, I tend to sheet too tightly, RELAX.
 A perfect day.
 Many sailors came out in the afternoon to enjoy the winds and there was talk of caplin (A small fish similar to a sardine) in the bay.
 We entered the harbor in Holyrood as the sun was setting and beached Pikake, sure enough the whales were chasing the caplin near shore and the town folk were out in the hundreds collecting them with their cast nets.
 Slowly but surely, the whales would make passes and herd the caplin near the beach to where there was no escape.
 While we collected the caplin as they came close.
 The picture don't do the scene justice, there are millions filling the harbor and breaking the surface. The seagulls get in on the action too, waiting for them to come near.
 The caplin is a sweet meat when fried fresh and pretty good eating when dried or smoked. even the ones that die on the beach are used for fertilizer on the many gardens in the area. The humble caplin, a very practical fish for many purposes. These little events really drive home my pleasure in building this boat, getting a chance to see this from several perspectives.

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