Dolphins in a sea of glass and a little yellow-breasted bird (Saturday, November 14th)
Without a lot of wind, the ocean can be extremely calm and “glass-like.” Like this, in fact:
The visibility is incredible. Today, we had a pod of dolphins (probably about 8-10) that decided to run with us along our bow. They were so beautiful, and you could see how graceful, yet powerful they were swimming just beneath and on top of the surface because the seas were so calm. We took photos and video. At one point, there was a baby swimming with its mother, but he or she couldn’t keep up and mom and baby had to duck out of the fun about a third of the way through. The others stayed on for a good solid 10-15 minutes. I never wanted them to leave!
Video of the pod on the link below. It won’t let me post the best one because it is too large of a file but here is one:
But wait, there’s more. This morning at about 7 a.m., I had a small, fluffy, yellow-breasted bird who landed on the safety lines about 3 feet away from me on our port side when I was on watch. Everyone else was still sleeping. The bird needed rest. He sat there for a few minutes and then flew through our cockpit and out to sea. Or so I thought. Fast forward an hour and Dan and Ryan are up and about. Then this little bird flies by Dan’s head sitting inside at the nav (navigation) desk. My little bird must have been in our salon for about an hour, but he wasn’t there just for our hospitality. He couldn’t find his way out! Dan picked him up in his hand and placed him just outside our front hatches on the bow deck. He didn’t fly away right away though. Instead, he spread his little feet further apart so he could handle the close-reach winds and the rocking of the bow, and continued to build up enough strength to fly off. This bird had quite a journey. We were about 300 miles offshore!
These moments add sunshine to our days at sea. I love these moments because, truth be told, I have never enjoyed routine. (That is part of the reason I love my profession; no day is ever the same and travel can be very spontaneous—but—I digress.) I know some people welcome routine and even thrive on it, but I find it incredibly monotonous. And let’s face it—sailing is not the most expedient way to get from Place A to Place B. Don’t get me wrong. There are times when cruising can be incredible, not just for the actual sailing but also for instance, when you have the time to play cards or joke around with your kids, but I tend to get much more excited anticipating the beautiful, novel places we will visit and the interesting people we will meet.
We had a casualty. Another different kind of bird spent the night sitting on our outside cockpit cushion and in the morning, we thought he flew off. He didn’t. Instead, we found him near death next to a bag under a table and he ended up dying on us. We felt terrible. I don’t know if it was severe exhaustion or dehydration, but I thought about giving him water but did not want to scare him and make him fly off when he obviously needed rest. Next time if we have that happen, I am putting out a big dish of water. Maybe it will bring a little bird back to life!