The day after my last posting the weather took an unexpected turn for the worse and we spent a couple days labouring in a Force 6 in very rough and confused seas doing only 1 or 2 knots over the ground. We are way behind schedule. The big swell makes it very unpleasant and I’ve spent a lot of time in bed and even missed a couple meals (not like me!) Conditions have only very slowly improved over the days but now we have just 175 Nm to go, and at 7.5 knots, I calculate we should arrive in 24 hours time – on Sunday morning.
This is the third consecutive day that no ships have been seen or detected on the ship’s instruments within 25 miles. All you can see is sky and sea. But there are a few signs that we might be approaching land. For one an Antarctic Tern - the first tern we’ve seen in 9 days - landed on the ship’s prow for a rest I think. And this morning a pair of Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatrosses in splendid breeding plumage have been spotted following the ship. They breed on Tristan. But even before these developments, the bird species we have been seeing had subtly changed and here is an updated list:
- Wandering Albatross
- Pintado Petrel
- Spectacled Petrel – predominantly dark brown petrel with white circles around eyes.
- Soft-plumaged Petrel – dark wings with white undercarriage and a greyish breast band and dark cap.
- Leach’s Storm Petrel’s – small black petrel with a white rump and a V shaped noted tail.
Ship’s time was put back another hour last night. We are now on GMT – like Tristan da Cunha. I’ve just done a wash in ship’s washing machine so I’ll have fresh clothes to wear on arrival. Which will be tomorrow if all goes to plan.