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Whale Lands on Yacht Near Cape Town, South Africa

A whale lands on a yacht near Cape Town, South africa. Paloma Werner and Ralph, her companion, were sailing on July 18, 2010 near Cape Town when a 10 meter long whale breached on their boat Intrepid.  The only casualty because of the incident occurred when vessel's mast snapped under the crushing weight of the whale. 

The couple were en route to Table Bay to do some whale watching when they spotted a southern white whale.  As Werner reported to BBC News: "We cut the boat's engine and floated for an hour watching the whale.  It appeared about 120 metres away from our boat and then it went under the water again.  A few moments later, I saw it resurface just ten metres away.  Suddenly I heard my partner shout and when I looked around, I saw the huge thing breaching on to the deck.  Instinctively, I took cover as the mast came crashing down.  I saw my partner, Ralph, dive for cover behind yacht's wheel.  Then the whale slid down the side of the boat and back into the water."  The couple spotted the whale approximately 10 meters from the vessel after using the boat's motor to return to shore.

The vessel will need at least 8,500 British pounds in repairs.

Paloma blames the whale's poor eyesight, combined with the fact the boat's motor was off, as whales navigate by sound.  Paloma stated "the whale just didn't know we were there.  We were just the wrong boat, in the wrong place, at the wrong time."

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