Fishes and Birds

June 21, 2018

Day 175/3

Noon Position: 28 01N 158 30W
Course/Speed: N5
Wind: E5
Bar: 1021, rising
Sea: Less than 2 feet
Sky: Partly cloudy
Cabin Temperature: 84
Water Temperature: 78
Sail: Motoring (needed to charge batteries anyway)

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 115
Miles this leg: 399
Avg. Miles this leg: 133
Miles since departure: 25,803
Wind went very light overnight. Mo coasted on a flat sea while I slept. After morning coffee, I raised the spinnaker, which prompted the wind to die altogether. So we motored slowly for a few hours while I watched for debris.
It is in no way dense, the plastic we are finding, but it is here if you look. Sometimes you have to look hard. Then at other times you’ll see two or three or four things together. The line of things always runs east to west. Almost always the things are fragmented and unrecognizable. It is enlightening to contemplate that if a whole plastic thing–a mooring buoy, a laundry basket, a stool, a hair brush–is let ride in the ocean for years and years, the ocean and the sun will slowly break it to pieces. Just ocean and sun can do that; no rocks necessary. 
Also, deeply interesting to me is that any plastic piece the size of a saltine cracker and greater is home to something, sometimes many things. In quick succession I pulled three such sized items from the sea today, and each had a single fish using the plastic as a sunbrella. I put the fishes in a bucked of water while I photographed them and their abodes with the intention of returning them to the Big Aquarium after the session. But once separated from their residence, they up and died in a matter of minutes.  

I am waiting, sometimes patiently, sometimes not, for a Moli sighting. Moli, if you will recall, is the Hawaiian name for the Laysan Albatross. I bring this up now because we are well within their North Pacific territory and because I am seeing the black footed albatross. One followed the boat today, plopping in the water next to Mo as she passed, watching, then flying around and landing on the water top near Mo again. This went on for an hour. Then the wind came up and with that it flew away.

2 Comments on “Fishes and Birds

  1. Randall, I’m Joseph Raines, son of Essie. I want you to know that following your adventures is enlightening.

  2. The homeward push! Very interesting about the wee fish as well. Do you think the shock stress killed them?

Leave a Reply