I got a chance to correspond with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world. It took him 312 days in 1968-1969, and he won the Golden Globe Race. At the age of 75, he’s still at it. His story is well documented, but what I really wanted to know was his most awesome marine wildlife sighting alone out on the open sea:
I was down below fiddling with the charger, about 1000 miles from New Zealand heading for Cape Horn, and I heard the sound of a train blowing steam. The hairs on the back of my neck rose as I knew that was just not possible. I leaped on deck, and there, 150 yards away, was an enormous Blue Whale blowing. Since my boat weighed 10 tons and the whale must have been close to 100 tons, I tiptoed past it!