Saturday, October 3, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009





Noon Coordinates 30 08.563N, 128 07.137W
Day 26 Friday 10/02/09
One of our favorite past-times (and there is a lot of time to pass) is watching albatrosses appear as if out of nowhere and escape our gaze the same way. Sometimes, albatross will adopt a ship to follow for a few hours. And, according to Carl Safina’s Book The Eye of the Albatross, an albatross followed a ship for 2,880 miles. Yesterday one came to visit while Bill Cooper and I were sitting out on the stern. We watched it as it appeared from the proverbial nowhere and headed straight for us. It's wings spread wide above the froth-tipped wake. We watched awe struck by the speed at which it came in without flapping its stealth shaped wings. I know I was personally hoping to have a pet bird for at least a day or two. But like a Boing 747 coming in for a landing, it began to drop its webbed feet, first one and then the other as if walking on air. 


We started asking each other what we thought it was doing when it stopped moving toward us and hung suspended over a distinct distance from the boat. We then watched it dip its beak in the water, like dunking for apples. Carl Safina’s book popped in my head and I knew what it was doing. I jumped to my feet and shouted, “No!” We had a fishing line out and on the end of the line happened to be just below the albatross. Bill ran and grabbed the fishing pole and started reeling it in. The bird dove again. Bill reeled faster as continued to make a lot of commotion.  The bird looked up and decided to find out what all the hubbub was about by flying up to the starboard side of the boat. It preformed a few figure eights then went back to looking for the lure-camouflaged hook. But it couldn’t be found, Bill had it all but reeled in. (phew) Fishing gear can catch birds as easily as they can fish so it was a good lesson in keeping an eye on our fishing lines. You never know when you’ll have a desperately hungry bird looking for a freebie and a plastic fishing lure looks good enough to eat 




We have quite the book exchange flying around here.Eye of the Albatross is a favorite , as well as Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin. The captain and Jeff swapped them via careful lobs across the room. Lindsey’s been flopping between reading Julie and Julia, by Julie Powell and Our Stolen Future, by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Person Myers. Personally, I think she’s having trouble getting through Julie and Julia, it does seem to be inspiring her to cook though. She’s had Adelle Davis’ 1947 recipe book out a few times. We aren’t complaining! Another way the books are getting around is by falling off the bookshelves. It didn’t start happening until we hit these really high seas and now it happens on a regular bases. You might say, move them. Some have been moved, the others (that keep falling) are because someone thinks they’ve devised a way to make them stay. We’re always devising ways to try to keep things where they belong. It’s an ongoing part of living on a boat. The farthest I’ve gone, personally, is clipping myself to the side of the boat to videotape under the behest of Jeff. And I’m glad I listened. Yesterday, I wasn’t out on the bow two seconds when a huge wave came and nearly knocked me off my feet soaking me from head to toe. With the shot I took, I got a good shot of one enormous beautiful wave.

Today the ocean is more uniform, but the sea state is a good seven. Sails have been up since Monday and it looks like we will be sailing all the way home getting in for our welcome home on Tuesday at the Algalita Marine Research Foundation office. We’ll keep you posted and all are welcome to stop by, say hi and check out our finds.

More later,

Bonnie

NOTE: If you are interested in joining the arrival celebration in Long Beach you can RSVP to Holly ( vesselsupport@algalita.org ) and she will keep you up to date about the plan!

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