Dismasted by a Whale

I expect many of you will have seen the photograph below which was circulated throughout the world.

It apparently shows a 10m southern white whale leaping from the water seconds before it landed on a yacht owned by a couple on a whale-watching trip off Cape Town, South Africa.

These whales have notoriously poor eyesight and navigate by sound. Paloma Wermer, the yacht owner said

Our boat’s engine was off and so the whale just didn’t know we were there. We were just the wrong boat, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

No-one was hurt when the huge whale landed on the yacht but it brought down their mast before sliding back into the water. The yacht was not taking on water and so the couple started the engine and headed for shore.

They say that they still like whales.

The leaping whale was caught on camera, apparently by a tourist on another boat who later passed it on through a tour guide.

There has been some debate on some yachting forums I belong to as to whether the photograph is genuine. Some yachtsmen doubt that a yacht could be dismasted by such a huge creature without more substantial damage being caused. They believe the image has been produced by computer.

What do you think?

George and I once saw a whale when we were sailing off the West Coast of Scotland. It was an amazing sight – they are such huge creatures.

Luckily we do not have any whales around the coast of Greece so you do not have to worry about a encounter such as this if you come sailing with us!

General Interest- Sailing
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