Today was an amazing day for wildlife. Not only did I see my first Great Petrel (like the Storm Petrels, but considerably bigger) but the chaps downstairs put on quite a spectacular show for me.

When I say “the chaps downstairs”, you might be picturing the three or four dorados and a couple of stripy pilot fish that I’ve mentioned before. But no – today my fishy friends were present in their hundreds. It started at breakfast time. I was sitting on deck, eating my breakfast, when there was a huge kerfuffle. The water suddenly erupted, right next to the port beam. And then calmed again, leaving a large patch of unnaturally calm water where it had been frothing and seething just a moment before. I couldn’t tell, at the time, whether it had been one very large Something or lots of small Somethings.

But the later appearance of the fishy hordes would seem to suggest it was a multitude of smaller Somethings. Coming out of my cabin after recording my NASA cloud observations, I glanced down into the water, and it was like there was a whole fish convention going on right underneath my boat. Throngs of fish were schooling backwards and forwards. I was quite mesmerised by the sight, and simply stared in awe and wonderment for several minutes before it occurred to me that I ought to get my camera.

Actually, maybe it was less of a convention, more of a pitched battle. There was a huge school of yellowfin tuna, and a whole bunch of dorados. And they didn’t seem to be getting on too well together. While the school of yellowfins were swishing backwards and forwards under my boat, I could see that one of them had an open wound on its back, just next to its dorsal fin, about the size of a bitemark.

Eventually the fracas ended and the crowds dispersed. But it was all very exciting. Better than TV!

Other Stuff:

I changed some of the wheel bearings on my rowing seat today, which were rusting and disintegrating. Not really surprising after the tough life they’ve had. A very messy job. Oily and gunky. Amazing how the gunk manages to spread itself around. Much mopping with detergent required before order was restored.

Juliet – I did get to enjoy a hot drink today. I decided to try out the Nescafe instant caramel latte sachets that Lesley gave me in Geraldton. Funnily enough, I’m actually not much of a coffee drinker, despite my frequent mentions of caramel lattes. It is more the coffee shop experience that I cherish, rather than the coffee itself. I was distinctly dubious beforehand. As I poured the sachets into my mug, and took a sniff, I was still unconvinced, but actually it wasn’t too bad at all. It lasted me all morning – thank heavens for thermos mugs. But drinking coffee for the first time in 3 months can have consequences. My advice would be: don’t try it unless you’re close to a bathroom, or at least a bedpan.

Tom – Crescent City, wow, that brings back memories! That was 2007. Good to hear from you. Hope you are still enjoying scuba!

Kurt, Chris, Jay, Cece, Doug, thanks for the words of encouragement and support. Much appreciated.

Chris Martin – you said “I’m here all week”. Where?!

Maureen – actually I don’t “stink rotten”. So am safe to hug, even figuratively. I do bathe every day, you know, even if it is only with a bucket and sponge. And after a good airing yesterday, my cabin is drier and fresher now too, with a distinct aroma of tea tree oil.

John H – good jokes!

Graham Dickie – thank you so much for writing to the BBC about me. Let’s hope they take notice! I feel very under-appreciated in my home country, so it would be nice to see that change.

David Tangye
– if only 18 hours of wind did equate to 50 miles! At 30 knots of wind, it’s worth around half of that, provided there is no adverse current. But you’re right, it is some consolation, during the rough times, to know that the high winds are (usually) helping me in more or less the right direction.

Photo: I am rather proud of today’s photo of the school of yellowfins teeming beneath my boat.

Quote: “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” (John Muir)

Quote 2, courtesy of Julian Hapel: “I am a citizen of the most beautiful nation on earth. A nation whose laws are harsh yet simple, a nation that never cheats, which is immense and without borders, where life is lived in the present. In this limitless nation, this nation of wind, light, and peace, there is no other ruler besides the sea.” Moitessier.

Sponsored Miles: 28 miles since yesterday morning. Today’s thanks go to Carl Jones, Colm Coogan, Diane Freeman, and to Callum, Fraser and Freya Ellis with the message Go, Roz!

14 Comments

  • Roz, I am beginning to dislike the “odor” of Tea Tree oil, especially since last week when I was going to splash on some Vitimin E oil and accidently used the Tea Tree oil instead. I re-bathed and still stunk!  Although thinned with olive or mineral oil, I also get red spots where I apply it. ??

    …happy that you got recent pictures of fish and that you are making progress. Still no birds I suppiose?

  • Thanx Roz for that pic! The Yellowfins will replace the underwater Dorado shot and reproduction of “The Wave” that have served as my computer desktop on and off for at least the last month! I love your attitude and your pictures and should give a donation in September but have not been doing financially well where I am in Florida… but then I live “in exile”! Keep it up and congrats on more than half-way. Will you be stopping in the Maldives? I can’t imagine going past that way and not stopping as they will be some of the first islands to go under in time due to Global Warming. But I guess it is not allowed in the rules to stop! Take care…
    Michael in Florida

    • Was it not in the Maldives that a guy on his honeymoon was eaten by a shark this week? Or did this news not reach where you are – it was a British couple.

  • Roz, very glad to hear that after the days of being battered by the waves and trapped in your cabin that you’re out and about watching the wildlife and freshening up!  It’s a great reminder for all of us that whatever the current challenging circumstances, they will pass.

    Row, Roz, Row! 

  • Hey Roz, How about a shout out?  I am fairly ill and it would lift my spirits. I have this device to keep me from falling from my bed. I sometimes pretend I’m in a small craft far from land and try to gauge
    how you must feel being storm tossed and alone.  I’m not sure I have
    what it takes to tackle the oceans, but being snug in my space with a book and my Mac with a storm shut outside is not so bad.

    Row

    • Hi Tex, sorry to hear about your immobility. Whilst using my crutches I thought of Roz using her oars – neither of us can get anywhere without using our two sticks! It sounds though you don’t have that option if you are confined to bed. I hope it is more steady than the one Roz has. With sympathy.

      • Thank you so much for your kind reply.  I’m just sad Roz was not willing to say “hi” More than sad really.  I am at the point with PD where walking is not safe and now I have a seizure disorder to contend with. I do my best to keep my spirits up, but it’s not easy to do having been an active sort. 
        Well thank you for your kindness and best wishes to you and Roz, Tomas

    • Hey, Texino … thinking good thoughts for you … I really like your jokes-by-the-numbers especially #301 and #81. Hope recalling those will lift your spirits … sure did mine!

  • Glad things are cool! Ready to fish yet?  🙂

    Mildred was a 93
    year-old woman who was particularly despondent over the recent death of
    her husband, Earl. She decided that she would just kill herself and join
    him in death. Thinking that it would be best to get it over with
    quickly, Mildred took out Earl’s old Army pistol and made the decision
    to shoot herself in the heart, since it was so badly broken in the first
    place. Not wanting to miss the vital organ and become a vegetable and a
    burden to someone, she called her doctor’s office to inquire as to just
    exactly where the heart was located. “On a woman,” the doctor said,
    “your heart would be just below your left breast.” Later that night,
    Mildred was admitted to the hospital with a gunshot wound to her left knee.

  • Your boat is a Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) This is how large purse seiner find fish in the ocean. They launch FADs with radio signal devices and then “fish the FADS”. If a seiner is following your radio signal and in the area, expect a 1400 ton monster to start scooping up 300 tons of tuna at one set of the net. JW

  • in response to free will.

    we have supportive nature here. but really nature is supporting “right action”. so when is one to know right action or wrong? khrisna says to just act, when one is not sure. guess acting is better than just standing still? i usually wait for the right time when i feel its appropriate. its like i can see the world turning and my time to act comming up. so is that me deciding to act or me just being part of the matrix? the only time i truly feel free of the matrix is when i am painting. and not just painting. but creatively painting. i remember a friend saying her worst fear was to stand in front of a white canvass. i love a white canvass and the first stroke. it sets me free of all ties to reality and yet puts me at the epicenter of creative reality; the universal common demoninator. it doesn’t matter if my painting is totally abstract or a copy of what i see in front of me. really that first stroke is all mine and what follows are the culmination of many desires. that is how i view free will. that first impulse to act is a devotion of a kind. a loving will. taking the plunge. what follows revolves around that initial inception and is totally colored by it, and is a celebration of it. a total joy. and so we have the matrix following creative impulse; as it should.clear as mud?

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