I’d been a bit disappointed not to see more wildlife on my meandering way up the coast of Western Australia. There again, as most Australian wildlife seems to want to bite you, sting you or eat you (as Steve Irwin learned to his cost), maybe I was better off without it.
I did see a little bit of wildlife today, but I don’t think you’re going to be too excited about it. When I came out on deck this morning, I noticed a long, thin, black object in the ship’s all-purpose bucket (NB: NOT used for lavatorial purposes). Upon closer inspection, this turned out to be a fish like the one I found in the footwell on one of the Pacific stages. I can’t remember what it was called.
Whatever it was, it was very dead, and didn’t even have enough meat on it to make a decent breakfast.
I’ve seen various birds, which so far have defied my attempts to photograph them. I have also found incriminating evidence that birds have been roosting on the forward cabin, former haunt of the infamous booby birds, but I have yet to catch the culprits red-handed. Except that birds don’t have hands, so maybe I should say red-wing-tipped? Red-beaked? Red-footed?
Dearie me, only Day 2 and already I seem to be driveling. Onto something more edifying….
To get me back into nautical mood, my first audiobook of this third-time-lucky row was “Two Years Before The Mast” by Richard Henry Dana. My word, their ship makes my rowboat look like a luxury cruiser. Hard tack and salt beef. Not a moment to themselves. Tyrannical captains. Cheered me up no end.
There are long passages where he’s describing the set of their sails that made little sense to me, but I still loved them. There’s something very poetic about the old-fashioned sailing terminology, like the shipping forecast, that whether you understand it or not makes it lyrical to listen to – all that talk of topsails and fo’c'sles and royals and jibs and whatever.
It was also fascinating to hear his descriptions of the California of around 1830, before the gold rush. There was barely anybody there. Dana was definitely on the money with his top tip that San Francisco would make a superb site for a city. How right he proved to be!
I haven’t had any new comments through at the time of writing, so will respond to those next time around.
I chatted with Dane Golden at Hey! today – I think he does that as a podcast as well as a live show, so hopefully you can track it down.
Also recorded with Vic for our weekly podcast, which should be available for download in the next day or so.
So it has really been rather a chatty day for me. Two whole conversations with humans, plus a few words of consolation to the dead fish, and one tirade at a wave that gave me a badly-timed drenching. I’ve been positively garrulous!
Oh, and I suppose I should say something about rowing too. Lee, my weatherman in Minnesota, had set me a waypoint to try and position me well for upcoming currents. And I’m just about there. Hurrah!
Watermaker – check. Solar panels – check. Batteries – check. All is well on board the good ship Sedna.
Thanks today go to: Walter Sedriks, Patrick Harney, James van Bemmel, Margaret Taylor, Todd Lowe, John Wasko, Jay Cosuico, Gail Brownell, Nick Black, Heit Poppinga, David Church, Doug Grandt, Kimberley Hughes, Mark Reid, Steve Penners, Tumbleweed and Jim Little.