maanantai 12. maaliskuuta 2012

March 10th 2012

On the Way to Rio de Janeiro

Our week at sea was absolutely exhilarating although the winds could have been more favourable. Surprisingly, we had headwind for the first 36 hours (prevailing winds N/NE!) and no wind at all for four days out of the seven but, to me personally, that didn't matter. The main thing was that we were on the move again!

We had the sun, the sea and luckily enough, a full moon which made the nights almost as enjoyable as the days. As usual, we soon fell into a comfortable daily rhythm of reading, writing, sightseeing, fishing, cooking, sleeping, and keeping watch.

By sightseeing, I mean being up on deck and trying to spot anything there is to be spotted either in the sea or in the air. This is actually very different from being on watch as you don't have to keep a sharp lookout but instead, you can relax, enjoy the scenery, and even let your thoughts wander if you feel like it. In addition to fishing boats, cargo ships and, in our opinion, far too many oil rigs, we saw a number of boobies, one of my favourite species of seabirds, several schools of dolphins, one of Atlantic Spotted Dolphins, and a small, curious whale which we later tried to identify, assisted by our Field Guide. A juvenile Fin, Sei or Bryde's Whale?

One of the highlights of the leg was when, after four days of continuous fishing, we finally managed to catch a fish, unidentified but extremely delicious. We seasoned the fish with salt and black pepper, fried it in butter with lots of garlic, and garnished it with fresh coriander. The downside was that before this, we had lost two of our best lures, but that's life.

During the week, the one worrying thing was that, for more than two days, we were motoring in waters full of algae, so thick in places that it looked like noodle soup. Years ago, we had experienced something similar in the Baltic Sea which, unfortunately, has been in a very bad state already for decades due to being more like a lake than a sea, without any proper source of fresh sea water. But never before have we seen anything like this during our travels on the Atlantic Ocean!

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