For Berrimilla's first circumnavigation, the International Space Station
and the North West Passage, go to

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ships that pass...

Pete had a ship on AIS during the night - he says it stayed with us, about 12 miles south, for a while and then disappeared. Odd. Sea Shepherd and its Japanese shadow are down here somewhere so perhaps one of them.

Cape Petrels, prions, dark petrels that look bigger that the white chins, the occasional Storm Petrel and several albatrosses - a few black browed and at least 2 very big ones. The water is 10 deg and definitely green. I've been sitting in the cockpit in my dry suit in the sunshine - it's cold out there! I hope, pace the Examiner, that we are now heading gradually north directly towards Maatsuuyker. Our furthest south, just off the Baie, was 4934 - we are now at 4915. Time will tell.

A bit more on Kerguelen - we were able to contribute a tiny speck to the place - one of the young researchers had spent quite a lot of money on a camera to record his stay on the island. On his first field trip, he found himself unexpectedly up to his armpits in water and his camera was drowned. I offered him my spare one that I seldom use and he's a happier boy. And my albatross photos found a home there too.

Not sure whether my French was up to the detail but there are a lot of rabbits - I think I heard 18 million - fewer cats and a lot of rats and there's a queasy balance between them all to the detriment of the original inhabitants and the natural vegetation. One species of introduced brown trout is gradually taking over all the rivers from all the other introduced fish. There are invasive insects (aphids?) which are also vectors for viruses. There are sheep and a species of what I think are caribou. We have some good contacts who, I suspect, would like a chance to visit Australia and collaborate, so if there's anyone out there working on similar ecological or biological projects (SW - UoW?) or perhaps schools who would like to be put in touch, let me know.