FROM 1-10. South Atlantic-Going up

Mar 28, 2005 - 2000hrs UTC

2000hrs 28 Mar 2005 UTC Map Ref 131

After a traditional Berri breakfast of a bacon sando, tabasco and a talk with the Doctor,(yeah, I know I’m absteeming but nothing brown can possibly be alcoholic or fattening so the Doctor and chocolate are ok. I read it in New Scientist..), I have just felt a gentle brush of warm air down through a hatch. Can this be happening – for the first time since leaving Hobart on Jan 10? The sun is out, we’re doing 7 knots, VMG 7. Pete is in shorts – silly old poot has just spent half an hour looking for his glasses and you know the rest. And just about level with Dunedin again – it’s all ticking along. Hobart, then 40S…

We are surrounded by birds – I’ll have a go at three of the more distinctive ones.

First, a very small black and white version of the little flappy bird from the south pacific. Wingspan about 25cm, fast, irregular flapping with darting flight amongst the waves and troughs – occasionally has to do a massive evade as a breaking crest threatens to smother it. A foil to the Albatrosses which are still around – wingspan about the same as Berri’s beam.

Second, an albatross shaped bird but all very dark grey/brown/black – not an easy colour to describe – including beak and feet. Perhaps 2 metre span.

Third – my favourite amongst the small birds, a lovely graceful bird with lustrous grey tops to its wings, each wing having a diagonal dark grey stripe from the trailing edge at the join with the body out and forward to the elbow bend. The overall effect is a gleaming grey chevron across about half the span. It flaps, rather than glides. White underside, other detail too hard to see.

The albatrosses are coming so close the individual feathers are visible in the black wingtips.

A why is it so? question The Atlantic is definitely greenish grey. The Pacific was deep almost indigo blue. The water here seems to be as clear and free of sediment as across the wall – but perhaps it isn’t. Why the difference?

From Malcom

Hi matelots,

A French woman arrived at Noumea today having westwards rowed across the South Pacific in 70 days.

I don’t think anyone has rowed the Atlantic from South to North.  A new record to be created.  Not too late to start, take down those sails and paddle or scull

Malcom, we heard the french rower on the cruise net on the other side and nearly had to relay for her – she had only a few miles to go at the time. There may be another one out there too – my french is too rusty. And I think it’s just eyeballs for the ISS although I’m sure there are all sorts of goodies for precise imaging.

[ed: link to full marathon article – thanks Penguin News – it is a PDF so it is a little big]

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