Welcome back my friends
Well the Southern Ocean never ceases to amaze, from the mayhem from a couple of days ago (10/11th) to the relative calm today (14th) and the mayhem due to come and whilst its calm life is a lot easier writing a blog so today we have...Albatross; Life in the fast lane; Obsessions
We have been visited every day by the sight of birds, most notably the Albatross that with its huge wingspan majestically and without any consideration for what the weather is doing swoops effortlessly over the waves. Its only problem is getting going as it appears to rest on the waves at night. Seeing one making an attempt to 'peddle off' the waves certainly brought a smile to my face. During Leg 2 I spotted a 'ball' on the surface which turned out to be a puffer fish taking in a bit of sun; as we past it promptly deflated and disappeared into the depths. I could almost hear it saying 'bloody tourists!'. The most amazing sight so far has been the pilot whales (Leg 2) that skipper Chris told us hunt in packs for their prey. We had a lot of these magnificent animals hunting us down for quite some time.
Life in the fast lane
Crew helming have been having a fantastic time; Marty's face was beaming from ear to ear all day as everyone was attempting to beat each others record for the fastest speed surfing down the waves. Our watch managed 25 knots, I managed a miserable 16 knots (but of course the wind wasn't as strong!). Marty who surfs every day in his native Australia has been giving the crew tips on how to improve our helmimg skills. Big thanks.
Talking about life in the fast lane we have our action man Patrick who without any hesitation volunteered to ascend the mast on for a 'rig' check that has to be carried out on a regular basis to check for wear and tear.
It was quite an ordeal for him as the sea state was fairly rough. I managed to get quite a few pictures of his ascent which has given me a problem do I attach a picture of Patrick at the top of the world or a picture of an Albatross? Anyway he returned safely, bruised and exhausted from his ordeal. We all take safety very seriously and although it appears he is on his own up there nearly all the watch are at their stations - mast, pit crew and helm. Hats off to Neil who was on the helm at the time, I suspect his stomach was in his mouth trying to ensure that he steered a steady course.
I would add Matt undertook a similar ascent yesterday (13th).
Everyone on board has there way of 'doing things', whether its tasks below or above decks. Tolerance is the order of the day. Back at home you can walk away. Here there's no place to hide. Some of the simplest actions by individuals can escalate causing heated debate. It would be unrealistic to pretend that living with 20 others will be harmonious every single day but we deal with it and move on. On a lighter note, we have our 'Dixie' quartet singers whose voices have been heard floating effortlessly throughout the boat. This morning (14th) we had Bob Marley and 'No woman no cry'.
Fantastic stuff and makes you forget what any argument was about in the first place.
Big hello and love to everyone's family and mine (Pat, John, James Simon and Annabelle and relations)
The artists were (including the intro); ELP; Fleetwood Mac; The Eagles; Marina and the Diamonds.
PS you get the picture of the Albatross, it’s prettier than Patrick and I can see his ass any day of the week.