Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Voyage of the Acolyte - Steve Hackett Part I

Ship on the Ocean - Groundhogs
I’m like a ship on the Ocean
That’s rolling from side to side.
But I’m not drunk I’m just dissatisfied
It’s not my body but my mind I can’t control
I’ve got everything that I need but still I want more.
Thursday 18 April 2013 – Noon Position Lat 33° 54’ 50” North Long 064° 47’ 00” West
It’s a long 5 days passage from Hamilton, Bermuda to our next destination and with most birds now likely on the breeding grounds, plus Cetaceans still making their way back from the Antarctic Feeding Grounds there is not a lot of expectation. Fortunately we have remained a few days behind on ‘posts’ which should adequately fill the void, but for this period at sea it was thought best to make at least 2 posts and publish under the appropriate dates. If Sod’s Law does work in the opposite direction we should be knee deep in Whales and Shearwaters by this time tomorrow.
This little cubby-hole, amidships on the starboard side, has served me well as a ‘bird hide’ which, steering 090° is out of the glare of the sun, wind and any rain.
 The Images You Thought You'd Never See!
 ME Sea-Watching
 There you are see, didn’t even have to wait that long as during the first 6 hours vigil at least c10 Whales of one description or another broke surface with only two positively identified. Scanning the surface what was at first thought to be a huge baulk of timber suddenly manifested itself as a Humpback of massive proportions, just wallowing there, followed a couple of hours later by something even bigger. The extremely long, black, arched back followed by a dorsal fin of small proportions, set well back on the animal, could only point to Finwhale  Perhaps needless to report, by the time the camera was brought to focus both had simply disappeared.
Sometime earlier, 07:00 to be precise, a pod of at least c6 medium size Dolphin/Porpoise had passed by hurriedly, followed an hour later by these 3? ‘Unidentified Beauties’. During the remainder of the first ‘watch’ c9 Shearwaters of 2 distinct sizes were seen along with c5 Wilson’s Petrels, satisfying myself that at least Audubon’s has now been positively identified.
 Marker Buoy
something to keep the interest going. 
 A few distant seabirds make of them what you will,
good practice for some.
My attempts
 Just to give some idea of how far away some of these critters are.
Above 2 images.
 Unidentified Floating Object
Friday 19th April 20132013 – Noon Position Lat 35° 38’ 40” North Long 053° 02’ 40” West

Coming Back To Life - Pink Floyd
I took a Heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the waiting had begun
Heading straight into the shinning sun
The day started very well with a ‘point blank’ 20 seconds of BLACK-CAPPED PETREL before it disappeared across the bow. There followed a longish wait for the next sighting as the first of c3 Sooty Shearwaters passed also at a distance. Unfortunately no Whales but a few more ‘white-rumped/Storm and possible ‘Larger’ Gadfly-Petrels. At noon we were 1,000 Nautical Miles from land when a number of large Shearwaters started to appear in the south. None came anywhere near the ship but a few images were secured in the hope of being an aid to identification. Returning to my cabin, still fully booted and spurred, I glanced through the scuttle to find ‘this’ 
only a matter of yards away, being what all the others had looked like as well?

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