Of Boobies and Baskets

June 20, 2018

Day 174/2

Noon Position: 26 08N 158 55W

Course/Speed: N7-8 (we must have a beneficial current)

Wind: E12-14

Bar: 1017, steady

Sea: NE4

Sky: Clear now; high overcast this morning

Cabin Temperature: 83

Water Temperature: 72

Sail: All plain sail.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 163

Miles this leg: 284

Avg. Miles this leg: 142

Miles since departure: 25,688

Wind has been E and steady since late yesterday afternoon, this despite the forecast. I rose every few hours overnight in anticipation of a change, but it never came. It came today in the form of a diminishing breeze but now even that is steady again.

Each time I rose I also noted our guests were resting peacefully, they being a trio of red footed boobies that perched on the weather rail facing to weather. Two were traveling companions and checked in around dusk; the other noticed what a good gig the first two had landed and decided to share in the amenities. They were quiet enough guests, whispering only after 10pm; and they checked out promptly at the appointed hour of dawn. But I could have done without the mass deposit they left on the deck by way of payment. Possibly this is, in some small way, my own fault, for I am the one who has developed a fondness for these animals without a sphincter. I scrubbed all morning and can’t get the white out.

Sun sights are challenging these last two days. Yesterday was too cloudy, and even though I got the shots in, the results were unsatisfactory because the horizon was too close. Today the issue was celestial. We have passed under the sun. Sure, that happens every day, you say, but that’s not what I mean. Over the last week, we’ve been catching the sun up; that is, the sun’s astronomical latitude (its declination) and our terrestrial latitude have been approaching. Yesterday we passed it; were directly under the sun at about midday. The practical effect of this is that in the sextant the sun was in view at noon no matter what direction I looked.

Debris is present but sparse and consists mostly of SWUP (Small White Unidentifiable Plastic). In the morning I saw a glass bottle, a pint ice cream lid, and maybe 20 other SWUP items during my two hours of consistent watching. They’d clump. I’d see three items and then not anything for fifteen minutes.

In the early afternoon, a clothes basket floating opening up and, as I lifted it on deck, it became clear that the six fishes inside had been trapped there, likely since birth. I have no idea what they were, but they looked exotic. I took some photos and returned them to their home without setting them free, as there was a large dorado circling, ready to invite them to lunch.

2 Comments on “Of Boobies and Baskets

  1. Isn’t it amazing how the sea life uses the debris to make homes and shelter! A wee bit of good from our contamination of our glorious oceans! Thank you, Randall! I look forward to all your posts and photos. You make it so we are all right there with you. I am looking forward to each post like the excitement of the next chapter in a great book!! Pam

  2. Was the picture of the white mess yesterday taken before or after scrubbing? My, such potent stuff! Love the fish basket!

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