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For most offshore sailors the grandeur of seeing wildlife within their marine ecosystems is another big reason to be passionate about this sport. Thousands of species of birds, fish and mammals all play their roles in keeping a healthy and sustainable balance to the ocean’s ecosystems. As sailors we can have a unique role ourselves in helping preserve this balance even as man’s own interactions with the planet present increasing and now more easily identifiable effects that threaten this environment.

Observing large marine mammals in their habitat is simultaneously thrilling yet frightening since the prospect of being close to a moving object that may greatly exceed our size can be disturbing. One hundred and fifty years on from the tale of Moby Dick it’s no less hard to break this primal fear of being sunk from a whale impact. And each year brings more living examples.

One was in May 2012, when video captured Camper helmsman Roberto Bermúdez de Castro throw his VO70 violently up into the wind to narrowly avoid colliding with ‘something huge’ while hurtling along at 20kt. ‘It would have been a bad day for the whale and for us,’ said onboard reporter Hamish Hooper. ‘Fortunately “Chuny’s” decent reflexes saved the both of us from the equivalent of a freight train colliding with a truck.’

Read on.

 

 

csabi

November 13th, 2017

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