My mates over at J-World escaped a marauding pod of whales. They lost the boat but were rescued pretty quick. If the story isn’t enough to send a shiver down your spine, it will have you shaking if you’ve had the opportunity to read The Swarm… to be clear, this is a big boat…
Here is Wayne’s note in full and an excerpt below:
Here is what I know from the brief conversations I have had with the crew: about 10am, they came across a pod of whales. Their behavior was described as ‘erratic.’ One or more of the whales struck the boat repeatedly, and the boat began taking on water at a rapid pace. It sounds like, not surprisingly, most of the damage was around the rudder. They made an attempt to bail the boat and get a distress call out on SSB, but it was clear that the boat was a loss. They activated the EPIRB, boarded the liferaft, and the boat was reportedly gone within 7 minutes of the strike. As I understand it, the boat did not capsize in any way.
I was in contact with the the USCG from the time the EPIRB went off. They did an absolutely stellar job. Within four hours, they reported that they had safely lifted all five sailors into the helicopter and were returning to San Diego. Eugenie has a bruised hand, but there were no other injuries. I personally am in shock… this is the stuff you read about but you think will never really happen. You can make all the preparations in the world, load boat with experienced sailors, and still have unexpected consequences. A bit humbling, to be sure. We all need to remember that when we go sailing, we really go to sea in every sense.