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Featured Boat of the Week – Hallberg-Rassy 41 Center Cockpit Ketch!

June 29, 2011

Tired of the rat race? This boat can take you away from it all……..
Click here to view details of this blue-water world cruiser.

Need inspiration to drop your work-a-day shackles? Here is one of the owners’ many experiences:

It was the middle of a tropical night when we killed the engine about 5 nm northeast of the entrance into the lagoon of Lukunor, a remote island of the Mortlock Group in Micronesia. We never enter an unknown riff passage in the night. Safety first! So we let our yacht drift with the current. There was no breeze and when I settled myself into the cockpit cushions for my turn at watch, I observed Orion rising above the horizon, and gazed at a wonderful world of millions of stars in a dark, cloudless sky. I sat there in awe and could hardly follow all the meteors plunging into the atmosphere.

Maria had gone to bed in the cabin below. When I heard an insistent breathing I assumed that she had fallen soundly asleep. But I soon realized that the breathing wasn’t coming from the cabin! Had Maria come up again to join me in the wonderful dark night? No. What was the noise?

From the sound it couldn’t be a whale! We had had many whale encounters. It couldn’t be a dolphin either. What about a giant turtle? I listened carefully. The sound moved around close to the boat. How could I find out?

I got the halogen lamp and waited. Half a minute later the distinctive human breathing came again, this time on the port side. I switched on the lamp and in the beam of bright light I saw a huge white animal which tried to hide from the light, shaking its massive body and sinking until it was gone.

What was it? It was white and it was huge, as long as the boat. We never saw white whales. But I know that Belugas live in cold areas like the Arctic waters. But here? We’d never heard of Belugas in the tropics. Could it be a Dugong or Manatee? But we had seen them previously and knew that they were much smaller.

The breathing returned. I was prepared and turned the light on again. On the back of the massive white body there was a little fin, like humpbacks have. So it WAS a whale! This time the animal did not hide, and moved slowly around our boat. And now I saw why it breathed like a human being — the air hole on its back was always above the water surface. So no need to press the water out!

Maria came up from below. She too had heard the loud breathing and became scared because the hull of the boat intensified the sound. We watched the whale for hours and wondered why he moved in increasingly close circles around the boat. It wasn’t the first time that we had observed that the hull of our boat was interesting for these huge animals. Did they confuse the shape with a member of the other sex? Could it become dangerous if the whale attempted to mate with our boat?

First daylight appeared on the horizon. The whale was gone and replaced by a pod of dolphins which started jumping from the water, some spinning in the air, and falling back with a big splash. After 15 minutes they were gone too.

Daylight in the tropics comes and goes in an instant. With the day’s light we started the engine and motored through the narrow entrance into the lush, green lagoon. A yacht was anchored in front of a little village of palm huts. When we passed the yacht a couple came into the cockpit and invited us for breakfast. What a night! And what a reception!

-Klaus

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