Monday, April 11, 2011

Day... Three? I think...

It's hard to keep track. Since one or the other of us is always on watch, sleep schedules aren't a reliable track of the days. I really wonder what this will feel like in another week or two. I know I'll be less tired as we fall into a routine, and I could imagine that a month may go by quickly. As Amanda said yesterday (?): "I think each hour will go by slowly, but before you know it, a month will have passed". It's an odd mix of utter monotony and real excitement.

Here are some of the highlights so far:

Flying fish. Flying fish are COOL! I guess I'd never really thought about them before, but I sorta figured they'd be like flying squirrls. That is to say that they'd jump, glide and land back in the water. That's not actually the case though - they have wings. Real ones. They look like little hummingbirds, and they actually truly fly along the surface of the water for quite a long ways, and get high enough up so that one landed in our cockpit. He looked a little stunned, and it was weird to feel like I was picking up a slimy fish and a bird struggling to flap it's wings all at once. Anyhow, I think he made it. There are tons of birds out here too, and they seem to have a pretty good time chasing after the flying fish. Which makes me wonder what evolutionary advantage there is to being a fish that flies - seems like you're just making it that much easier for the birds to find you. I wish I had a way to look them up... projects for land. At any rate, they're neat and fun to watch.

The sunrise this morning was also amazing. It wasn't the most colorful sunrise I've seen (though the shades of orange and pink were a welcome contrast to a seemingly endless expanse of blue, grey and white), but sunshafts broke through the clouds in a hundred different places and made it look like the first sunrise the earth had ever seen. It was pretty breath taking. I could tell it was breath taking, because it was sufficently stunning to make me pause Ira Glass (a friend has given us literally every episode of "This American Life", and watches suddenly fly by).

I've been struck by how much I can feel our motion across the earth. Not through the water - that's fairly obvious as our bow wake comes streaming by, and the boat rolls. I actually have a sense of movement to a different place. I have been trying to trick myself into getting up, looking around and thinking that we haven't gone anywhere, but it doesn't work. I can tell that our location is changing even though there's nothing to mark it by. I don't understand where that feeling comes from, but I'm grateful for the opportunity to discover it. I don't think anywhere but at sea could you travel 400 miles and not be able to articulate a difference in the "land"scape.

Anyhow, enough for today.

Back on watch so Amanda can sleep.


  1. Flying fish flying into the boat! So cool. -- Maud

  2. Your articulation about percieving distance traveled as time passes was very well put, I experinced the exact opposite when flying across the Pacific in 1968 on my way to Vietnam. I would look down upon the Pacicic from 30 thousand feet and 600 m.p.h. and have no sense of movement at all. I would try to envision what the ancient mariners felt traveling at maybe 6 knots across the same expanse, I sense that this experience is giving you a great perspectve of the planet. Gene