The sun rose large on the horizon off the port bow reflecting off the rolling swell. My hands and feet, for the first time in 24 hours, had become warm and our dawn watch enjoyed the sunlight as we gently rolled from side to side in a light breeze. I bit my nails and they tasted salty in fact I would hazard a guess and say if I bit anything on this boat it would unsurprisingly taste salty! No sooner had we enjoyed the sunrise and done a little work on deck pulling stuff that was salty and getting splashed by other salty things, I sat down to a cold porridge and just as I did the weather changed rather rapidly, all of a sudden the sky had become overcast. The sun was no longer visible and a mist limited the visibility. We had, I am informed, crossed the convergence zone where the colder water from the south meets temperate waters in the north. The water around us is now minus 2 Celsius and the water pushes up nutrients and we should hopefully see whales. Fingers crossed.
We are just over half way to South Georgia and should be there in another 2 days. Albatross constantly circle the boat as they glide hugging the contours of the waves in contrast to the storm petrels that fly rather like swallows dipping in and out of the water. We have spotted many a dolphin which is always a pleasure to witness, an elephant seal and some sea lions. The species are just an estimate, if I am honest, the sea lions could have been fur seals or anything else with a dog like face doing breast stroke. Irregular sleep patterns have impaired my ability to identify things as I would do on land. To give you a taste if you don’t know what it’s like. Sit in your kitchen in a michelin man suit, spill a bit of diesel on the floor, lightly salt yourself all over, turn the humidifier on and get someone to rock the room 30 degrees one way and then the other for a couple of days in an irregular fashion maybe hang up bananas and tea towels for extra swing effect. This may sound horrible and that’s without the not washing or sleeping a solid 8 hours and stick 14 other people in the same place. I completely forgot about this when thinking about the trip and to be honest I don’t really think about it now either, it’s just normal. Also normal is random bursts of song, freshly baked cake every day, no cares and nick singing 9-5 as dancing as I write this, or people giving graphic descriptions of how they fell off the toilet and managed to wet themselves only to remark that they will change their smalls at a later date. This strange behaviour can also be a distraction when identifying animals!
The mist is rolling in closer and the sea has turned a blue/grey as we roll on to South Georgia. It does mean that the extra thick porridge came in especially useful this morning as it is staying in my bowl.
So a question for all the blog readers! Whats the science behind the phrase “red sky in the morning, shepherds warning”?