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[DAY 61] Whales

I can’t wait to go back in the water because of those particular intense moments I experienced like the one on day 48:

“Whales!” Screamed Maks pointing to our port side. Paul was at the helm this morning, I was on deck with them. Paul changed Seeker’s heading and sailed toward the sprays while other crew members gathered on deck. We were all looking in the same direction, birds were flying above, and whales were breaching the surface and spraying water in the air. Paul maneuvered the sailboat to stop where we last saw the whales. And boom, one breached the water few meters away from us, Maks had already his gears and GoPro ready and jumped in the water after her. We pointed in the direction where we last saw the whale and he swam after her.

“I saw her” he shouted. By that time I was getting ready with my swim gears and a GoPro, and I jumped on the yellow Malibu kayak, Ban Ana. We named the kayak after my daughter Ana, she picked the name. The other green Malibu kayak, the one we use to pace me swimming, is named Max Attack after my son, Max. I paddled toward Maks on Ban Ana and once I reached him we waited for any sign of whale activity on the water. A few minutes later the crew spotted one close to the boat. I paddled back toward Seeker and boom again she breached few meters in front of the kayak. I attached the line of the kayak around my waist and slid in the water. The whale was on my left swimming toward Seeker, unfortunately, I was unable underwater but the GoPro caught her and the sailboat. Maks got the best footage though!

By that time Yoav had joined us in the water and the crew told us that the activity was happening on the other side. I swam around Seeker and found myself in a big cloud of red particles, the biggest pieces were about the size of a golf ball. It was all around me, it didn’t know what it was then and found out later that I was swimming in whale poop. The GoPro captured it too!

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7 comments

  1. Are you guys back at it with Ben swimming again? Wishing all of you success and I hope Ben stays healthy and in good spirits

  2. Ben:

    The whales are another good omen!! Even the whale poop lol!! Is it really red? Whoever would have guessed!! I hope the presences of the whales means the typhoons are keeping their distance!

    I also have a question. Although it’s nothing like what you’re doing (there is nothing like that!), when I am doing a triathlon I always ask myself three questions: am I comfortable; am I positive; am I one? What I mean by comfortable is that I feel like I could keep swimming, biking or running indefinitely at this pace. What I mean by positive is that I am mentally upbeat just because I’m out there and all the little annoyances are not bringing out negative feelings. And what I mean by being one is that I am part of my surroundings — one with the water when swimming, one with the wind while cycling and one with the land while running. If I can answer all three questions yes, then I am having a good race no matter what my time is.

    So I was wondering if you ever have similar thoughts or use a similar technique to maintain your equilibrium during this incredible undertaking?

    I want you to know you are not alone! Molly and I check your logbook every day and we are all with you and your remarkable crew in spirit!

    Randall Sarosdy
    Austin, Texas

  3. Thank you for the stunning visuals of these beautiful denizens of the deep blue ocean!
    And as for swimming in whale poop – how many folks can claim to have that honour!
    Sending you best wishes on your journey. Hope the typhoon season is drawing to a close now in the Pacific!

  4. I looooove whales so much! And I’m profoundly glad that you guys got a chance to see those majestic, calm giants 🙂 You more than deserve these magic moments for all the efforts your mission encompasses! Cause yes, I do not only love whales, but also what you’re doing!
    Keep on going! I’ll be waiting for your arrival in Ecuador, haha 😉
    Best wishes and good weather!

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