23 july 2023: an incredible encounter with humpback whales

Today was pure magic. We left Nuuk yesterday afternoon under rain. It was cold and quite miserable but I was glad to leave, I’m eager to explore more of the west coast.

After a night at anchor, the rain eased to be replaced by a dense fog. As the afternoon wore on and the sun burnt through the clouds, a glorious blue sky awaited us beyond the white curtain. There wasn’t enough wind to sail but it was really pleasant to motor. I was catching up on sleep, when Calin woke me with the biggest smile: whales, babe there are whales!!! Sleepy and dazed by the sunlight, I staggered on deck. And here they were, maybe 5 or 6 massive humpback whales surrounding us in pairs. It was just mesmerizing to watch them dance around us, rounding their dorsal fin, flapping their pectoral and flicking their huge but gracious tail before plunging. And resurfacing minutes later. We put the engine in neutral and watched this captivating show of nature for maybe an hour. Working together, it was like watching a perfectly synchronized ballet. At some point, they disappeared under the boat. I couldn't see them anymore, they must have gone deep under the keel. With not a breath of wind, the silky water seemed out of this world. The few scattered clouds were mirroring perfectly in the motionless sea. And suddenly, right below the bow where I was standing, one suddenly surfaced with a massively loud blow and leaped out mouth first before crashing heavily just 2 meters away. It literally took my breath and I shrieked a cry of joy and surprise. My heart stopped its beat before bursting out of my chest. Oblivious to what Calin and Petter may think in the cockpit, I allowed myself to fully and shamelessly express this overwhelming moment of pure bliss and let happy tears roll down my cheeks. And even tonight, when I think of this afternoon beautiful encounter, I get warm fuzzy goosepumps.

We are now moored in Maniitsoq alongside our newly made friends Thomas and Frauke from S/Y Walkabout. We enjoy an evening stroll in the village. It is fairly quiet but pleasant. Tomorrow morning, Calin will go on the hunt for more fuel filters. He had to replace the primary filter twice since we left Nuuk and once the secondary filter. We suspect we received bad fuel in Nuuk or perhaps we have condensation in the tank, causing water to mix with diesel. At that rate, we’ll need boxes of spare filters!

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