SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
July 19, 2014
45° 28’N x 12° 18’W
200 miles northwest of Cape Finisterre, Spain.
Westerly, force 2
Finisterre, or “Land’s End” is a place name that repeats itself frequently on the European coast, its individual versions each marking the spot where land runs out and ocean begins. This final corner of Spain marks the southern limit of the Bay of Biscay, and the eastern edge of the Azores High, which here in mid-summer is giving us a beautiful morning. It’s a boundary area for several current and weather systems, and has been a busy place for marine life. In recent days we’ve had productive plankton tows, bird sightings.. even a fish, hooked briefly on our trolling line before making its escape.
It’s cool and sunny here, and feels a lot like early fall in New England, or those summer days after a rain when the dry air pushes in from Canada and everything gets clear and sharp. There’s just enough wind to move the ship along, and the calm conditions perfect for our first good whale sighting this morning- several fin whales crossing our bow with great slow exhalations and brown backs long as buses. Intent on their breakfast, they were indifferent to the race for cameras and binoculars happening just yards away on the ship.
They would stay with us, on and off, for most of the day.