Today has felt like rather an eventful day – which is a good thing. The ocean can be a very monotonous place, especially when seen from the surface on a slow-moving rowboat.
It started with my first marine megafauna sighting. At about 8am today a whale came to check me out. He announced his presence by blowing out loudly through his blowhole, and proceeded to surface 4 or 5 times around my boat – at one point no more than 6 feet from my stern.
I wish I could tell you what kind of whale he was, but he showed only his dorsal fin – I didn’t see either his head or his tail – which makes identification rather difficult. I’d estimate he was about 15 feet long – just big enough to make me a little nervous during his closer investigations of my boat.
Later this morning I was on the satphone to record our weekly podcast with Dr Kiki Sanford at TWiT.tv. Our special guest this week was my weatherman, Lee Bruce. It’s not easy being a weatherman – from what I’ve seen mariners have a tendency to shoot the messenger, as if the weatherman had willed bad weather on them rather than just reporting the inevitable results of meteorological phenomena – but today I was able to thank Lee for some perfect conditions. After yesterday’s monsoon today has been gorgeous – bright and breezy with only a couple of showers late afternoon.
So after several days of trying and failing, the conditions finally allowed me to make it past 1 degree south – cause for a celebratory Larabar (love the new peanut butter and choc chip flavour!).
Tonight was the first night since I set out that the moon has not risen before I retired to the cabin. There were still a lot of dark clouds around, with just a few stars peeking out, so it is a very dark night until the moon rises in an hour or so. The extreme darkness, plus the rougher waters, plus my book getting to a part where a psychiatrist is teetering on the brink of a nervous breakdown, all conspired to make me feel a little off-kilter. So I’m quite relieved to be back in my cosy cabin.
So all in all it’s been a slightly unusual day. Mostly good, and I’m happy to be a bit further south after losing significant ground last night. All’s well that ends well.
My TED presentation is now live on YouTube. I don’t have the URL here, but if you google on my name and TED Mission Blue YouTube, I’m sure you’ll manage to find it. Apparently some very nice comments have been posted so far, which is a relief. I was such a bundle of nerves – very unlike me – that I can’t really remember what I said, but it seems I must have made some sense!
Too bad they edited out the bit where I had to retrieve my notes from my bra. But probably just as well. Jennifer – I had never heard of “swiss army tits” before, but it’s a great phrase! Well, what else is a girl to do when she has no pockets…?!
No Alf sightings today. That is 2 days now since I saw either of my stowaways. Getting worried that they may be deceased. Defunct. Ex-spiders.
Huge thanks to all the people who have already contributed to the foundation fundraiser. Sorry that I don’t have a list of your individual names, but please know that I am very grateful and can’t wait until we have enough funds to start nurturing the next generation of life adventurers.
To contribute, please click on the Go Roz Go contest button in the top right of my website. We are now up to 1839.00 in our fundraiser thanks to all our donors. We have had donations from $1000.00 to $1.00, no donation is too small or too big. Every donation helps so please Chip In!
So Doug from California, you think I won’t make it until September? I’d better paddle harder!
Richard in Austin – great to hear from you! Hmm, not sure the Nauru song was one of your best – but as you say, maybe some warming up is necessary while you dust off the old vocal chords!
Thanks for the info on Nauru. Hmm, don’t think I’ll rush to go there. Am still sifting through the feedback on the “past vs present” question, but am about to time out on limit of discomfort here in cabin, and still have to try and clip shot of whale from video, so am going to stop here.
[Photos: 1) whale 2) today’s cloud pic for NASA S’COOL project]