4. Approaching the Faroes

A blog post by Laura Coleman, Director of Onca Gallery. First published 16th July 2014.

Here is a short blog post for today… although the boat is rocking so I can’t manage too long.

All is well aboard ship – spirits are high despite a turn in the weather. We are approaching the Faroes, but despite being 5 miles away from the closest island the clouds are thick and we can see nothing but grey seas. All are tired and nauseous by the new motion of Sea Dragon – the waves are bigger than before and the wind stronger.

Last night at about 7.30 pm, when we most needed a boost, the whales heard our plea and we were joined by a pod of over 25 pilot whales, and a group of dolphins. For about an hour, they followed alongside the boat, coming right up next to us and swimming around the bow. When we finally sped up at the end, they steamed after us jumping through the waves trying to catch up. For me, and for many others on the crew, it was totally magical. I had expected it to be amazing, but not quite to the extent that it was. They were so close, a full family of machos, mothers and babies, we were able to see the variations of colour in their markings, scars on their backs and hear their whistles with underwater cameras. Surrounded also by dolphins, gannets, a host of other sea birds and the neverending North Atlantic light – I think we all felt totally awed.

Now to put on my 50 layers of wet weather gear and go back on deck. My watch last night was 12 to 3am, through which we caught the setting and rising sun, and 9am – 12. All was spent dreaming of a shower and bacon sandwiches, which we hope to find when we dock later this afternoon.

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