Graham Holley and Georgina Asumae have a whale of a tale to tell.

In fact, 70-year-old Holley has been sailing since he was a boy and reckons he's never experienced anything like he did heading from Napier to Opua.

First a rogue wave struck his 38ft (11.6m) ketch, causing it to roll on its side. Five minutes later an eight or nine-metre whale burst two metres above deck and collided with the bow of the ship, leaving a huge dent.

"I said what's next, what could be next?" Holley said.

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The drama unfolded on April 16, the day after they

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