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Whale spotting off Nova Scotia

After a night of slowly sailing towards Port Hawksbury with everything but the stuns’l and ringtail set, I came up on deck today at noon to find only the Mains’l still set, and the midships awning up to keep the drizzle out of the boat.

At first our four hour afternoon watch looked as though it might be an uneventful motorboat ride. But minutes into the shift, an off-watch deckhand, Louise, spotted a whale. It surfaced twice, and judging by the dark, smooth body, blunt, bulbous head, and the location and size of its dorsal fin, we decided we were looking at a pilot whale. A guest crew member confirmed that Pilot whales are common in this area —   about 12 miles off Nova Scotia in about 350 feet of water.

Now we are settling into the watch routine — it’s 1230 — hopefully we see some more interesting marine life before we go off watch at 1600.

Sarah Herard, Deckhand aboard Pride of Baltimore II