Well, to a degree. As I have mentioned before, my deck is the final runway for some unlucky Air Cadets. Generally I am greeted by more than a couple of ex-fish lying on the deck each sunrise, and I have grown used to them flying past my face while rowing, with varying degrees of success. Some don’t make the grade and ‘go in’ on the deck and I am still waiting for the day when I find a dried one in my bird’s nest hair or smacks me clean in the face. NB: When I say ‘waiting for the day’ – it is more a consideration that I will be extremely lucky to pass all these days out here without at least one body-body collision, as opposed to actually looking forward to the event.
When they get the angles and trajectory right, however, the Airborne Division of the flying fish is incredible to watch, often soaring one hundred metres over and around the waves at breakneck speeds. More than once have I thought I was watching a bird on first glance, only to see it go belly -flopping into the water some forty-plus metres later. I say belly-flop, as they don’t appeared to have mastered the landing phase. Very cool to watch, nonetheless.
And now I’ve remembered why I decided to write about the flying fish today… It’s because one came hurtling past my head earlier, and just as I was thinking how lucky my own escape was, I heard a hollow thud. Poor ‘ole fishy fish had gone careering into the hatch door, rebounded and was to be found semi-splatted on the deck. Only semi-splatted, as he wriggled when I picked him up and did something that at least looked like swimming when I threw him overboard.
And why do they fly anyway? It’s all to do with energy efficiency, I believe – like dolphins porpoising. If they get up enough speed and launch themselves up out of the water, the reduced friction saves them a fairly significant amount of energy compared to swimming the same distance.
Maybe Dippers and I should try it… Though generally our airborne moments have been a tad frightening, so perhaps we’ll stick to wave riding and leave flying to those creatures endowed with wings.
And with that, I must return to the Sun Deck for some more of the same. But before I go, I’ll just gloat briefly about making it out to the oars before the sunrise again. I was a little bleary eyed and stiff but I was there.
Outey Toot slightly-sleepy-round-the-edges Toot x x
My next date with the boys: Radcliffe & Maconie, BBC Radio 2 – Tuesday 28th July. 8-10pm
Re : the kind concern about my Chocstock:
I figured what you don’t know can’t hurt you, so I haven’t dared count the remaining chocolate bars. However, I estimate fewer than ten bars, based on remaining unopened food bags. These will last a few days, if I restrain myself. Nope, no rationing – I have absolutely no will power when it comes to chocolate – this is why I am running out. I had over 400 bars in the boat when I left Freo -so I have no excuse really. Apart from rowing a few miles since then.
Clare Holt – Reckoning ETA 7th-12th August (ish).Richard B is trying the channels/production companies again, to see if he can get out to film my final couple of days rowing in.
Claire C – Great news about the Whiteys. I’ve spent a many a day clearing yankee Reds from a brook back home. Some veritable giants.
Steve Vaux -Glad you think I’m sane! It’s not an empty ocean, however – wildlife, waves, clouds, rainbows, moonrises,sunsets, stars et al et al et al in many variations. I have music/audiobooks when there is enough juice in the batteries,too.
Marcel – If I am landed and still awake I would be very happy to meet the WIN group. Ricardo is looking at local weather etc now so may be in touch.
The Ocean Angels – An ‘ice bath
77is what I’d like right now…. Very excited for you all – can’t wait to swap tales when I’m back. Great crossing x
Mikey Mike (My big brother) – You met the legendary Sir Steve?! Did you take him jumping? Will be back for some beers before too long. And an arm wrestle….I want to see if I can beat you after all these miles!
Xtina – Happy as a happy thing:) Hello to the boys, too. If they just nip back quickly I can lend them a squirt of the CK1.
Kitty & Tim – We’re getting to that stage in a cross country race where it all starts to hurt, all the time! Less mud out here though.
Jane – Don’t think Mum has booked flights yet – they’re still working on it.
Barry Gumbert – Good lyrics, thank you. Who are Rush? Old? New? Neither? Must check them out when I’m back.