Friday, June 14, 2013

Azores 2013 Day 5 Pico.

Well what an epic day. Started off ok on my whale watching trip. There were whales off Sao Mateus on the south west coast of Pico, so that's where we were going. Down to the RIB we went and off on the 20km trip out to where the whales had be spotted. And there they were, a pod of sperm whales. I got a couple of decent photos, but getting shots of any caetacean is never easy, and today was no exception. When the dolphins arrived there was great excitement aboard, which continued when the radio crackled with news that a blue whale had been spotted, some 15km further out. Of course everyone wanted to see a blue whale, so off we went. Blue whale was duly spotted and oooed at, and so we started for home, only for the engine to suddenly cut out after a few minutes. The guys fiddled around, but to no avail and pronounced that the fuel was contaminated, but a boat would be sent for. This was at 2pm. We fiddled some more, but the problem seemed insurmountable. So there we were, now around 20 something miles south of Pico and drifting off towards Brazil, with broken engine and several passengers starting to feel rather queasy. A sea anchor was devied from the ropes we had aboard. This at least would slow our drift and bring us head to wind. We fiddled some more with engine. It was now 3pm. After a while the call went up that the replacement boat was nearing us. Pretty much the same time the guys discovered a split in the fuel filter, the cause of the problem all along. 5 minutes later it was fixed. However it was decided that all of us passengers should be transferred to the big RIB, just in case. This turned out to be easier said than done, and in the end a couple of us stayed on the original boat to help bring it in. We eventually got back in at 4.30pm, somewhat tired, and one or two rather ill and a little 'emotional'. We were offered our money back, but no one took the offer. It was, as one lady said 'an adventure' and no one lost out and we all saw the whales. Back to Terceira tomorrow and a less than good wireless connection.

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