The crew of Egret finds some whales for company

Day 21: The seamount
Position: 14° 12.47N 22° 04.74W
Course: 215 degrees
Distance travelled: 1700.32 nm from Gibraltar
Average speed: 5.9 knots,
Conditions: 3′ NE seas, apparent wind 3.2 variable

Scott and Mary Flanders left Gibraltar on 16 September, and we’ll be following their journey every step of the way, thanks to this unique online “blog”. For the first instalment of their diary, click here


As of 09:45 this morning, Egret will have been at sea for one week, a little over one third of the trek to Brazil. We are amazed at how time and the miles click away. Our routines are well established. Mary is feeding us like kings, we are well rested and our little ship is purring away.

After Steve’s very rare spearfish catch yesterday and full of enthusiasm we charged off to test the seamount Mary spotted on the chart. (Well, perhaps not charged off… how about chugged off?).

Mary’s seamount started rising just before dark from over 10,000 feet of water in a classic series of charted shallower rings to the top in 1300 feet of water. Egret was travelling basically south against a north-bound current all afternoon. When these jillions of gallons of flowing water reach an obstruction such as an undersea mountain it has to go somewhere. What it does is wrap around the sides and over the top. The water over the top is the issue. It rises, creating waves with power, which, along with the accelerated current, greatly slowed the boat (5.4 knots). As fishermen we seek out these anomalies, but as cruisers we loathe to purposely slow our daily average by course deviation and current restrictions.

Fishermen love to subtly whine so I thought I’d give you a little insight. However, if we had caught fish none of this would be mentioned. Had we have caught fish we would have also been patting ourselves on the back for our skills. Such is the life of fishermen.

Since writing this we had two pilot whales with Egret for a few miles swimming under the stern and surfacing under the port paravane arm 6′ from Mary and Steve.