Quite surprising the amount of wildlife to be seen out here, some 600 miles off the coast of Senegal and 2 days away from the doldrums.
Obviously there are the inevitable dolphins; but we also had a pair of humpback whales pass within 150m of the boat the other day. Looked like a mother and calf.
There are also a lot of birds around this far out. We had a skewer type bird following us last night for the whole time, just circling the boat. Eventually we worked out it was watching for flying fish being spooked by the boat and taking to flight, at which point it would dive down in attempt to catch one. To be honest it didn’t need to do that, there have been plenty landing in the boat itself and 3 of us have already been hit by them; poor old Katharine got struck in the face by one whilst on the helm!
Also last night we had two sparrow type birds (have you guessed I don’t know one bird from another now?) try and roost for the night down in the wet locker. Clearly they needed a rest and we offered the only place to roost for at least 600 miles.
We’ve also had a couple of fantastic sunsets and sunrises and some massive thunderheads as we approach the doldrums. Out here it is possible to see the complete arc of a rainbow along with its reflection. Last evening, under a full moon I saw my first ever Moonbow – a rainbow created by the moonlight!
The downside at the moment as the doldrums and the equator draw nearer is the heat and humidity. At times it is almost unbearable down below, but you must catch your sleep during the off watches!
Meanwhile we press on for the equator and the doldrums having passed through the optional gate near the Cap Verde islands to pick up an extra point and also regain 2nd place from Henri Lloyd after losing it too them 24 hours before. Our next goal is to try and cross the doldrums as fast as possible at the narrowest point.