Not one, not two, but whales in almost every direction. Some breached in the distance — some closer, one right in front of us. I quickly disengaged Azuline's autopilot, Michel (named in honor of double Vendée Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux), and took the helm while the rest of the crew enjoyed the show from the forward trampoline. One breached right to starboard, while another almost fully cleared the water to port. We were surrounded, and the massive creatures were too close for comfort. Laurent and I — the only two skippers and boat owners aboard — exchanged a glance that said all that needed to be said (if put into words, it wouldn't be suitable for this publication). But once it became clear we were safe from impact, Laurent cleared his throat and struggled to make light of the situation: "Ahem, when you is on Azuline, man, it is always a good moment!" Yeah, I got that part.