FROM 2-2. Equator-Dutch Harbor

Hi The Funsters - 1337.38 16518.36

My take on the current is the simple spinny one. There is a westerly flow of water across the pacific at the equator, the northern half being diverted up the Japanese coast and the southern half becoming the east australian current. We have been either directly headbutting the eac or diagonally traversing the equatorial current and have lost about 800 nm as a result, which we won’t get back as we will be too far east to pick up the japanese current. Poo in buckets but that’s how it is.

Funsters – Hi! What year are you? And good luck with the test Is this something the new Government has set up or has it been happening for ever?
Sharks – sorry to disappoint you but I’ve never ever seen a shark from the boat – at least nothing that I could definitely say was a shark. Sharks (except basking sharks, perhaps) don’t usually swim on the surface – they chase other fish for food, deeper down. But I don’t really know enough about them to say any more. We have seen lots of dolphins – hundreds – and there are lots of different types of dolphin. Also three huge fin whales – second largest animal on earth – near the Australian coast. And th greenish gold fish I described a few blogs ago.

The boat in a storm – wow – what a difficult question to answer properly. Last time, I talked a lot about paintings by an artist called Turner and Mrs Harrison’s classes did some lovely work using copies that they found on the internet. Turner gives you the ‘feel’ and the scariness of a storm and an idea of what the light is like, but being there is always different. Technically, the boat pitches, yaws and rolls as well as going up and down on each wave and it does this all the time, even at anchor, but in a storm everything is magnified and much more violent – the boat feels as if it is corkscrewing savagely and crashing through or over waves. The wind is unbelievably noisy – it shrieks and howls in the rigging and across your face in big storms and you also hear the rain and spray hitting your waterproof hood rather like a jackhammer. It is almost always black dark in a storm at night but you are in a little cocoon of light from the boat’s instruments and from its masthead light. Imagine being in a car at night – the lights of the instruments on the dashboard glow inside the car and tend to reflect and cut off the light from the outside. The sea surface is black, woolly and shapeless and often it feels so thick that it is wrapped around you. As th boat crashes along, it throws huge surges of white water and spray out to the sides and these often reflect the boat’s lights so they glow. And then there is the phosphorescence – one of the true wonders of the sea! It is caused by tiny animals called dinoflagellates and we were sent a good description of how it works in our first website – I’m sure my sister can organise a link for you. Lightning is something else again. McQ might add to all this when she wakes up. This is getting too long – food in the next one

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