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Main Menu -> SALTS -> SALTS 2011 Summer Programme -> 2011 Trip 3 - Pacific Swift

2011 Trip 3 - Pacific Swift

Total Distance: 140.17nm over 6.04 days
Average distance each day: 23.20nm
Distance from last position : 15.11nm
Last Position:
50°57'22.68 N 126°51'43.20 W
  on August 5th 2011 @ 17:00

Ship's Log:
Fog enshrouded the Swift and sea and sky were indistinguishably blended, the only sound the gentle breathing of porpoises unseen nearby.  The fog lifted to the mastheads after breakfast and we slipped gently out of anchorage to delve deeper into the Broughtons. While traveling up narrow Cramer pass we were unexpectedly joined by three pacific white sided dolphins who cruised along side and criss-crossed beneath the whiskers for an enjoyable 15 minutes. The many small islets and islands were hung in mist and ravens cried over the still waters. I apologize in advance for the inability to convey what follows. At 1330 we were traveling along Sutlej Channel, trainees aloft loosing the square topsail and hanking on courses in preparation for sailing before the building breeze. The fog was burning off and the sun emerged to light the mountains growing towards the opening sky. A disturbance was spotted by bow watch distant on the port bow, quickly approaching. It was soon apparent that the channel was teeming with dolphins. They raced across the surface of the water, porpoising, before launching themselves into breathtaking aerial acrobatics. Jumps, front flips, back flips, tail slaps, barrel roles, back breaches, and 12 foot vertical leaps. Unbelievable. We were under sail with just the topsail making 4 knots, moving against their southward flow of travel and it took 25 minutes for the school to pass. Our best guess is that there were at least 300-500 dolphins. It was impossible to tell as they swam endlessly across the breadth of the channel.So much joy was present in the dolphins antics and it was infectious to the mood aboard, exclamations of wonder and excitement resounded. I will have to retract my statement in the previous log entry of the rarity of these magnificent creatures.  It was an overwhelming experience and difficult to translate. Alone again we finally finished setting sail and dishes and cruised into the verdant and narrow confines of Grappler Sound. We sailed briskly right to anchor at the head of the sound by 1630,  it is another pristine wilderness with a tidal basin to explore in the morning. The surrounding hills are steep with bare granite cliffs reminiscent of Desolation Sound with the exception of stubborn cedars. The intermediates are now putting their preparations and study to the test, writing their chartwork, navigation safety and tides exam. There continues to be a wonderful positive dynamic aboard instilled in all aspects of shipboard life.

anchored, sunny, cool, writing exams

Wind S15
Email processed: 2011-08-05 17:45:14

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