ID Fish Face?
ID Whole Body

One of the troubles with oceans is their reluctance to yield their secrets. It is just so hard to get a good look at the creatures of the deep.

For example, within the space of half an hour today I saw a grey dorsal fin slicing the surface of the water. Then I saw a large fishy shape, about 6 feet long, under the water. Then I saw a tail, shaped like a whale tail, i.e. horizontal relative to the fish’s body, rather than vertical, but couldn’t see the rest of the creature. Then I managed to get these shots of a fish – or possibly two – who swam repeatedly underneath my boat.

But how many of these fishy body parts belonged to the same critter? Obviously the whale tail must belong to somebody else. But what about the fin? And I thought the chap(s) in the photos was about 4 feet long, but it was very difficult to gauge how far underwater he was, and hence his size.

No wonder sailors of old imagined up the most bizarre sea monsters. A bit of this one and a bit of that one, and soon enough you end up with something quite surreal. And then, of course, sometimes the something surreal turns out to be entirely real.

Can anybody give me an ID on the chap in the photo? I was quite intrigued by the distinctive dark band across his face, and the series of yellow markings between his dorsal fin and tail. I’d love to know who he is!

Other Stuff:

I had a bit of a low point this evening, just after sunset. My iPod refused to recharge, and I thought I would have to resort to one of the other 6. But when I opened their “waterproof” container, I found it damp inside, and the entire squad was showing the effects of corrosion. I was suddenly very weary of this ongoing battle of attrition against seawater. No matter how careful I am, it gets everywhere – into lockers, food, clothes, bedding, and electronics. Okay, so a wet iPod is not exactly a Mayday situation, but it can certainly sap morale. Eventually I found a solution – using the inverter and AC recharger worked where the DC recharger had failed – but by then I was thoroughly grumpy with that big blue salty thing outside.

Anna Farmery – first class honours?! You girly swot!! Seriously, I’m impressed. I know enough about law exams to know just how much hard work and intelligence that takes. I was delighted to scrape a 2:2. Fantastically well done, my dear, and I will row as fast as possible towards that celebratory beer!

Sarah Watson – UBS and Liverpool St certainly do seem a lifetime ago. We’ve come a long way, baby! (“Baby” being more the operative word in your case! ūüôā Hope to see you in CT for a catchup. It’s been too long!

Delta – thanks for the info on wave height. Very interesting. I think that was mentioned in the book “The Wave” which I rather foolishly listened to while rowing between Fremantle and Geraldton. From my perspective, waves hereabouts are certainly more than big enough!

Quote: “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” (Tolstoy)

Sponsored Miles: Rob King, Cynthia Kruger, Terry Jones, Larry Grandt – grateful thanks for “your” miles.


  • Roz – looks like a yellow fin tuna from its profile. Second guess is that of a giant Jack trevally.

    Either one, both may be attracted to whatever school of smaller fish that may be traveling beneath Purple Sedna.

    If you have a fish hook, fishing line and a morsel of bait, you may consider fishing for some tuna sashimi!


  • Looks just¬†like dinner to me.
    By the way, Roz, how’s your barnicular situation? Have you disturbed them yet and if not how may they be affecting your progress?

  • The yellow markings along the back make me think yellow fin tuna as well. ¬†

    Interesting observation on the bits and pieces adding up to some strange creatures with a little imagination!

  • Yes indeedy, looks like a tasty yellow fin! ¬† ¬†They can be tricky to catch though =] ¬†It is good to see your progress, glad you are doing well, and I hope that your mom maintains sanity while in her brace. ¬†I know it’s hard to do!

  • Barnacle disturbance needs to be done when the sea is calm and there is no wind, not now I think!!
    Roz, had you heard of the works:

    Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s metaphysical “Omega Point Theory” that describes the gradual development of the universe from subatomic particles to human society, which he viewed as its final stage and goal.

    And the Gaia hypothesis:

    The Gaia theory by James Lovelock, who proposed that the living and nonliving parts of Earth can be viewed as a complex interacting system with similarities to a single organism. The Gaia hypothesis has also been viewed by Lynn Margulis and others as an extension of endosymbiosis and exosymbiosis. This modified hypothesis postulates that all living things have a regulatory effect on the Earth’s environment that promotes life overall.

    Quite interesting, but somewhat over the top I think.

    • I was asking Roz whether she had checked on barnacles at all during her present voyage, not whether she intended to do so today. I am well aware of the weather conditions and how to deal with fouling.

      As to the Gaia hypothesis (not theory) no balance can be “actively pursued” by an mindless system however integrated it may be.

  • The Gaia theory is the better one:
    The Gaia theory posits that the Earth is a self-regulating complex system involving the biosphere, the atmosphere, the hydrospheres and the pedosphere, tightly coupled as an evolving system. The theory sustains that this system as a whole, called Gaia, seeks a physical and chemical environment optimal for contemporary life.

    Gaia evolves through a cybernetic feedback system operated unconsciously by the biota, leading to broad stabilization of the conditions of habitability in a full homeostasis. Many processes in the Earth’s surface essential for the conditions of life depend on the interaction of living forms, especially microorganisms, with inorganic elements. These processes establish a global control system that regulates Earth’s surface temperature, atmosphere composition and ocean salinity, powered by the global thermodynamic desequilibrium state of the Earth system.

    The existence of a planetary homeostasis influenced by living forms had been observed previously in the field of biogeochemistry, and it is being investigated also in other fields like Earth system science. The originality of the Gaia theory relies on the assessment that such homeostatic balance is actively pursued with the goal of keeping the optimal conditions for life, even when terrestrial or external events menace them.

  • Thanks for the blog Roz, and Philosophy Friday;-) The ‘wildlife’ lets you know you’re not alone out there, hey? Bon voyage.

  • Yes Roz she is indeed a yellow fin tunny fish! she will be hiding in the shadow of the boat from that larger one you saw!¬†

  • Hmm…do you have any seriously high test fishing line and hooks on board? maybe you could score a serious ride (although if it’s not in the direction you want to go that would seriously suck!!). sorry about the iPods–man, is the ocean seriously dishing it out!!! you go, girl!!

  • Roz, interesting that the¬†“waves hereabouts are certainly more than big enough!”¬†Big enough, cold enough, hot enough … the river temperature here in Yosemite is cold enough and the current is fast enough. Last night and again this morning, I dove (well, more like a slow motion sploosh) beneath the “waves” of the Merced River … the waves here are minuscule ripples compare to your rollers … and I was only in about 2′ depth only about 25′ from shore … to venture further would risk being swept away in the current … that could be good or inconvenient when you are on the ocean, but it is definitely not recommended in any circumstance on an enormously swollen river. I stayed well away from the strong current, but the water was just as cold … more than cold enough … not so cold to be uncomfortable, but definitely cold enough to be refreshing … so I took a second dose early this morning. In fact, after I got out, I went back in a second time. ¬†Double the pleasure, double the fun. ¬†No “no swimming” signs, no “no bathing” signs, no “no full immersion” signs, and no “no nudity” signs … so I responded with my own signs of “no inhibitions.”¬†

    Row more than enough, Roz!

  • Roz, I would vacuum pack the Ipods in plastic containers packed in silica gel desiccant packets ¬†They are those little packets we get with electronic products we buy. ¬†(actually plastic bags are porous and will let salt air in in time)……… Ezdo NJ

  • Hi Roz,

    Maybe I’m just a wuss, but I’d say inoperative iPod=crisis. It might be different if “the morale” wasn’t the primary power source for the boat! As for your fishy friend, my SWAG is it’s a Nurse Shark. Very big but generally harmless. In any case stay in the boat.


  • Yellowfin Tuna for sure – I just never realized their pectoral fin was so long.¬† And did you know they can swim up to 70 miles an hour?¬† You should hitch a ride!¬† ūüôā¬†

  • Another yellow fin vote and I love the quote…such a bummer w/ the ipod cache…audio books and music are such a transport.¬†

  • Hi Roz, Please don’t feel low because of a soggy i-pod- enjoy every sunrise, sunset, glimmering star, visiting sea creatures (definitely a tuna)- what a wonderful life you are living right now! ¬†Thank you for being a continuing source of inspiration.¬†


  • That’s actually Moby Dick in disguise. Don’t be fooled. Sort to hear that your conducting environmental testing for Apple. Next time let them do thier own tests. Perhaps you can use the brown sludge for a skin treatment, could become popular!
    All this goofy crap I write is fun but I really am in awe of your dedication to your chosen cause, thanks for leading the way.
    Oh and to your Mum, work that cast for all the sympathy you can ; D

  • Looks like a tuna of some sort. (maybe a yellow fin) certainly good for dinner if you can get to it. Good luck!!

  • Yes,¬† they love to hide in the shade out in the open ocean.¬† From the websites:
    (Thunnus albacares) In Hawaii, shibi is another name for yellowfin tuna. The yellowfin gains its name because the soft dorsal and anal fins and finlets are bright yellow in color. The dorsal and anal fins lengthen with age. Yellowfin range from the ocean surface to depths below 100 fathoms. Caught year-round in Hawaii’s waters, yellowfin tuna is usually most abundant during the summer season (May-September). Yellowfin’s flesh tends to be firmer than that of bigeye tuna.. Yellowfin tuna is widely used as raw fish dishes, especially sashimi. This fish is also excellent for grilling and has become very popular in “blackened” fish preparations featured in Cajun cuisine. With its mild flavor and firm texture, yellowfin adapts well to numerous applications. Sorry to hear about the chocolate and iPod emergencies. anything like this at sea is catastrophic by nature!!Keep the¬†row on and dream of wonderful meals soon!Love you and love that your are doing this for us and our ocean. Scott

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