Latest News From the Song of the Whale - 9.8.07

Tuesday 4th September 2007
Written by Magnus

We are back in Gocek, Turkey, getting the boat ready for the final survey legs of the eastern Med. After a month leave we need to stock up all the stores and run a complete system check of the boat. Mat came back to the boat a few days earlier to fix a couple of jobs, unfortunately the job list grew a bit when one of the computers broke down. When it became clear that it was beyond our knowledge to repair it we had to jury rig one of the other computers to do some of the work of the broken one. Later today all the members of the crew for the next trip will have arrived and we can finish the last preparations.

Wednesday 5th September 2007
Written by Mark

Image_6840Today is the start of the second phase of the survey heading west again back towards Malta. The Song of the Whale team members on board are Magnus, Mat, Claire, Olly, Mark and Evelyn. We’re joined go for this leg by Arda from Turkey, Aliki from Greece, Paul from the UK and Alessia from Italy. We left Port Gocek in the late afternoon and headed west to pass the northern side of Rhodes and cruise towards the survey track north of Crete. The seas are fairly rough but the spectacular Turkish coastline provides an impressive backdrop for watching the sunset from the cockpit.

Thursday 6th September 2007
Written by Aliki

The fleet and the SOTW r/v itself proudly announce that are continuing the research in Greek waters - North of Crete and South of Cyclades. We are at the 2nd day of the leg and we have conducted about 260 nm of survey trackline. Our first sighting this evening when we encountered a large group of striped dolphins. They did some boat-riding, showing off their grace and beauty. We definitely cannot complain about the wind. Aiolos is giving his best and our sails are always full of fresh salty wind. The team members are very happy and familiar with that (they can drink their coffee in A-frame without spilling a drop!). Today was also the birthday of Claire and team members have prepared a little surprise. I don’t know if this year will actually count because the wind took care of the candles-she didn’t have to blow!! So the Song of the Whale is continuing its journey with more passion and enthusiasm… Kalo mas taksidi!!!

Friday 7th September 2007
Written by Olly

After a gentle night sailing towards Crete, we progressively reduce our sails throughout the morning as the wind gathers force. Although the wind provides good sailing conditions, it also agitates the sea surface to the extent that water is soon strafing over the side of the boat. Towards nightfall, we detect the first signs of sperm whales on this trip, tell-tale rhythmic clicks ahead of us on our hydrophones. However, as darkness descends and the wind increases, we decide to break track and seek refuge in the sheltered waters to the East of Atlantis. Although there is little evidence that Thira truly is Plato’s fabled land of Atlantis, many eminent authorities believe the island’s volcanic nature marks it out as a strong contender. Thira is one of the world’s largest active calderas and archaeological evidence suggests the advanced Minoan civilisations on this island and Crete may have been destroyed in 1400 BC by a catastrophic eruption. We cautiously drop the anchor next to the still active volcano, with Plato’s words ringing in our ears; ‘in a single day and night of misfortune the island of Atlantis disappeared below the sea’.

Saturday 8th September 2007
Written by Arda

We weighed the anchor in the early evening and cruised to the South from the Santorini (Thira) safe waters. During dinner, when everybody was on the deck, a striped dolphin leaped through the big waves and disappeared suddenly. Some dolphin clicks and whistles were heard for a long period during the night. Early in the morning, heavy seas calmed down and a light rain began. At sunrise we enter Crete island seas to the Soudha harbour with the guidance of a shearwater. After the passport and entrance procedures are completed for Greece, SOTW will return on her line transect to the north.

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