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Friday, February 5, 2010

Glooopy calligraphy

There we were, in our crystal glass of gloopy fog - complete milkout, vis about 100 metres, swells emerging as new horizons, close enough when they became visible to look sinister and menacing and solid. Tiny shadows - fleeting impressions - fast, fluid, sometimes jerky and gone in an instant. Prions! Their beautifully marked grey topsides appearing as soft Chinese brush strokes trailing through the gloop as they banked towards us, their brilliantly white undersides dissolving instantly into the gloop as they banked away. Wonderful. The occasional black shape, probably a white chin - a firmer brush stroke, cursive as it banked and soared.

And then the fog cleared this morning - bright sunshine for a while and not a bird in sight. Long flat swell, the emptiest horizon since we left Falmouth. A short visit later from a Black Browed albatross. Now back in the gloop and not even a Prion.
But we are pointing at Hobart.

The boot ferals - excited voices all over the place - procreation, hybridisation, cross dressing everywhere - mixing it in errant socks from way back, soggy boots, wonderful new environment inside the neoprene dry suit and they've been getting together with the mouldies in little colonies all over the uninsulated surfaces and the green cheesies in the icebox. Having seen the science they are doing in Kerguelen on isolated populations, I think we missed a chance here! No control groups, no baseline.

We are looking at a slowish trip from here - 28 days minimum. If all goes well and we feel up to it, we will pay our respects to Cook, Baudin, Flinders and all the others with a visit and small Con in Recherche Bay. We seem to have followed them everywhere else - except Cook's 71 South. I think it was Midshipman Vancouver who ran out to the end of Resolution's bowsprit at they turned north and became the man who started the Guinness Book of Records.

On the beach at Recherche Bay - now that WOULD be an interesting OB for Macca!

Bill W - thanks mate. Looking fwd to Con!

There's a Black Brow out there...