Day 11: Flocks of Flying Fish

I suppose I should say schools of flying fish, but we only see them soaring, often in formation, as they scatter in front of Anthea’s bow wave. The ocean is thick with them here; day after day in these roaring NE trades, all we see of ocean beasts are these improbable creations of nature. The birds take advantage of our herding ability, flying around Anthea and then swooping down for mid-air catches and easy feasts. Anson never imagined he’d enjoy bird photography mid-ocean, but he’s got thousands of photos to sort through to find the two or three “bif” photos to spark our memories for decades to come. In addition to the boobies, there is a stunning, mostly white bird, a little smaller than a booby, with a tail reminiscent of a fly catcher. It maneuvers gracefully, “kiting” as it surveys the feast below and twisting with minimal effort in the midst of a dive. Another mostly white bird, without the elegant tail, also joins the scene. Guesses at bird id anyone?

We continue to harness this brisk NE tradewind. We’ve had a lot of experience in these wind conditions from sailing down the California coast, so we have our routines for powering up and de-powering the boat. The main difference is the chaotic sea state. If you were to place me on land now, I’m sure I’d walk like a drunken sailor, unable to figure out how to move on a surface that isn’t perpetually rocking and rolling.

Keeping this short, as we’re eager to get the weather today. We’re about three days from Longitude 135 W, which may be our turning point to cross the ITCZ and the equator. If anyone knows weather magic, we’d greatly appreciate your help in having the usual weather patterns return here. A large low pressure trough is disrupting the winds to the south of us, and it would be very nice if it would move along and let the SE trades reform for our final legs of the voyage!

Lat 10 degrees 38.6 minutes North
Long 127 degrees 59.9 minutes West

4 thoughts on “Day 11: Flocks of Flying Fish

  1. The sooty shearwater undertakes an annual migration cycle that rivals that of the Arctic tern; birds that nest in New Zealand and Chile and spend the northern summer feeding in the North Pacific off Japan, Alaska and California, an annual round trip of 40,000 statute miles (64,000 km).[41]


  2. The white-tailed tropicbird breeds on tropical islands laying a single egg directly onto the ground or a cliff ledge. It disperses widely across the oceans when not breeding, and sometimes wanders far. It feeds on fish and squid, caught by surface plunging, but this species is a poor swimmer. The call is a high screamed keee-keee-krrrt-krrt-krrt. Sailors nicknamed the tropicbird the “bosun bird” due to the call’s resemblance to a bosun’s whistle.[2]. These are my best guesses although the tern is another one poss. You all are doing so well – hurrah. Always interested in visual images of Devon in galley flailing from side to side while excavating food from refrig and cupboards and bilge to make dinner and of Anson rigging on the foredeck while rocking around and laying on the foredeck for photos of birds!
    Anson lens here as well as your cards. Let me know where and when to send securely when you arrive somewhere on land. Love, Louise


  3. Dear Family,

    Would LOVE to see more photos interspersed with your BLOG posts so we can SEE the things you’re writing about!

    We’re enjoying ALL the posts immensely!

    Love and Hugs,
    Zara & Grandma


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