Seablog: SHARK!

Calm down, calm down! Unfortunately I haven’t seen any sharks out here yet, but I thought if I write about how much I would like to see one, then any casual sharks happening upon this blog might drop by to say hello. Fingers crossed.

I am a wee bit surprised not to have seen anything yet which I could positively identify as of sharky heritage. In among the pod of pilot whales back in the early days there was something breaching as a shark does, with white belly and sharky looking mouth on the underside, but I only saw it once from a distance. Given that I am always super keenly scanning as much wavespace as I can, and out on The Sun Deck for more than 12 hours each day, I would have hoped for at least a fleeting ‘hello and how do you do?’ from one in my 89 days out here. I appreciate they don’t need to surface as the mammals do, and will follow food as any animal does,and aren’t quite so fond of flying as my albie friends are, but in a mostly empty ocean, I would have hoped something as novel as Dippers, with all her fine lines, might attract at least one Curious George. Of course, maybe there have been some visitors and I haven’t seen them. I have heard noises at night though – things rubbing against the hull….

Of course absence of evidence isn’t necessarily an evidence of absence, but maybe my lack of visits is a reflection of the sorry state of the shark family. Millions are finned, utterly barbarically, for the Oriental food industry and again more die as bycatch in fishing gear. Bad news – most of the shark species have long, slow reproductive cycles so populations cannot keep up with the losses. As apex predators, ruling the roost at Number 1, this decimation has ramifications right through the ecoystem too. Poor ‘ole sharkees – they survive all these years as beautifully evolved machines of the sea and our reckless and ridiculous buddy Mr H. sapiens goes and wipes them off the leaderboard. Muppets.

Tomorrow is Day 90, so there is still time yet…Here’s hoping with all our hope and happy socks that there are some sharks left out here to come and visit, and that serendipity deals us an ace.

Meanwhile, we’re still truckin’ Westward – happily today ’twas in the sunshine, then under a clear and starry sky.

Yours in sharky hoping,
S & D x x


Clare Holt -Food dreaming is the chief object of my sleep these days- I am a pudding fiend! Love everything.
Sue & R4P boys: Brill, my choccie stash is safe from pirates then. Keep truckin’! Tell Mauritius I’m on my way…
Roger Hayward – Brilliant effort – that’s fantastic, thank you St Brigid’s.

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14 Responses to Seablog: SHARK!

  1. Libby says:

    Hi Sarah, working towards the final days of Term here, with the end of another Academic Year in sight (though sadly no sharks!!)

    Brilliant Year 6 production and Old Girls made for a busy weekend. Dyl and I encouraged OGG to look at your website and I continue to think of you daily. When we eturn to school you should be very very close!!

    Off to Cananda next week – stay safe and keep on rowing.
    Love Libby.

  2. John Page says:

    Hi Sarah, I have been following your adventures and I have to say how surprised I am that the good ‘ol British media don’t seem to have mentioned your epic voyage at all. No, I don’t live in a cave on a remote island!! We should all be very proud of you and wish you every success……………….

    I just wanted really to highlight your cooments on what Mr H Sapiens has done to the shark population. Peter Benchley and the oriental eating habits have a lot to answer for. I agree, sharks are a master of evolution and deserve our protection. Why is Mr Sapiens destroying all round him…………??!!

    Sorry, soap box has been removed………….

    I wish you all the best and good luck – I am watching your progress and reading all of your blogs…..Take care

  3. Felicity Rollings says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Good job it’s a Sunday here and I wasn’t at work when I opened this blog – there was a yelp of excitement when I read the title!!! I must admit, although I know how much you want to see a shark, I am rather pleased that they’re keeping their distance from you and Dippers!

    I hope things are going well – looking at your tracker, you’re making excellent progress towards the rum punch! Fingers crossed for continued good weather!

    All the best,

    Love Fliss

  4. Guy Warner says:


    I did not see the bit of Byron I sent you nor did you comment so here goes again (apologies if it is a repeat!)

    ‘There’s a pleasure in the pathless woods,
    There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
    There is a society where none intrudes
    By the deep sea and music in its roar.
    I love not man the less but nature more
    From these our interviews in which I steal
    From all I may be or have been before,
    To mingle with the Universe and feel,
    What I can ne’er express yet cannot all conceal.’

    Seems to fit your situation!

    Keep going,

    Guy Warner

  5. Marcel says:

    Don’t need anybody to tell us you are coming to Mauritius. We know!

    Re Sharks, someone from the Seychelles – they have a large Commercial Fishing fleet – the other day offered me 80 tons of shark a week without the fins of course. They throw them back to die a slow death. They are worst than Animals…not the sharks!
    I was looking at the possibility of, at least, using the meat in Fish and Chips like they do in Australia. They call it Flake !
    The first boat from the Race came through yesterday…I think.

  6. Sarah – we hope you get a shark visit just for you and Dippers. Your progress is awesome and your ever nearing that rum punch! Keep smiling and happy rowing love Emily and Jamie x

  7. wormy says:

    Glad not to hear of any more untimely soakings :O)

    If you do the row again, maybe you could release some baby sharks…

    Day 90 deserves a celebration – I’ll have a drink and toast you both 🙂

  8. Barry Gumbert says:

    Don’t most shark species stay fairly close to land where the Marine Mammals live? Kind of like us humans we stay close to our food.

  9. Ocean Rowing says:

    Nice of you to put a shout out to your shark friends. Have you tried humming the theme from jaws – works every time 😉

    Wanted to make sure you heard: On Thursday 25 June Aud Eamus (Row4Life), with Angela and 7 other rowers onboard, made it across the finish after 58 days, 15 hours and 8 minutes at sea. Aud Eamus becomes the fastest row boat to cross from Geraldton, Western Australia to Mauritus, breaking a 38 year old rowing record for crossing the Indian Ocean.

    Looking forward to speaking with you upon arrival, and covering your incredible voyage. Keep up the great work!

    – Crew

  10. Amanda B says:

    Just like Ms Rollings, I yelped as well when I saw the title of this blog! I would like you to see lots of happy sharks at a distance…glad the 70s are being good to you, and that the happy sox and success hat are doing their stuff. We are all still speechless at what you are doing – keep it up! Amanda x

  11. frankie owens says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Glad you are back in the boat after your hairy moment!! And looking for sharks as a good biologist should. What about whales? Have you had any good sightings? Danielle Harris, another old student who is following your progress was emailing me, she now studies whales and says for you to say hello to any you come across as they might be her study animals!!
    Barn owls, bumblebees and orchids are keeping us busy at the moment.

  12. Jen Muirhead says:

    Hi Sarah

    Been following your blog avidly – absolutely amazing achievements. You really are an inspiration. Unfortunately embrace magazine is no longer published – I have moved to a new job with the company but based in Peterborough – but there is a replacement, larger magazine covering a wider area so I’m sure they’ll want to interview you on your return! Keep up the fantastic work – there’s one heck of a book/documentary/film coming out of this …
    All best

  13. Mark McGrouther says:

    Good on you Sarah. I’m impressed with your pro-shark attitude. Speaking with my Australian Museum fish collection manager’s hat on, I can say that I’m right behind you on you on the shark issue. Hopefully a friendly noah will pay you a friendly visit soon.

  14. ian says:

    hi sarah,hope you see a shark soon but from a safe distance eh?just”discovered” the bit of your blog covering the prep for your voyage,very entertaining,makes the long hours when i should be toiling over a steaming keyboard more bearable somehow!
    best regards to you and dippers

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