Seablog: The Flying Fish : Does exactly what it says on the fin

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.

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12 Responses to Seablog: The Flying Fish : Does exactly what it says on the fin

  1. Hugh Illingworth says:

    We are enjoying your daily blogs with fascination and enjoyment as fireside sailors (for the moment)but we’re off to Gatehouse of Fleet in Scotland for a week so leaving the computer behind in Rutland and won’t catch up until next Saturday – by which time time you must be inching ever so closer and closer to the final destination.
    So hope you too have a good week with plenty of favourable wind!
    Wishing you all the best – Hugh, Debby, Sophie & Alex.

  2. John Murton says:

    Keep going Sarah. Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding await you (and your mum and friends!) when you get here…

    John (BHC)

  3. xtina says:

    When i first saw a flying fish I was totally knocked out Sarah ~ they came up out of the water and flew pass along each side of the dive boat! and they continued to do this for awhile.
    The way they lift their fins/wings and skim past WOW ….. would love to see that again and again.
    Have you managed any shots of these fish with your camera? So pleased you are having good weather, this is now very fair to you all out there.
    I see ETA is/could be 7th-12th Aug’ i know we are all still not sure of these dates but i am still on the Island until the 16th so this is all good.

    Relax enjoy and we shall see.
    Happy that makeith me.

  4. ian says:

    hiya sarah,great that you now have a rough eta,hope you get loads of coverage for what is a remarkable effort,know you’ve got pr working on this but is there anything us mortals can do to ramp up the coverage?
    rush.canadian rock band formed 1n 1968 so rather long in the tooth now i think,still going as far as i know,a three piece with some sucsess in the album charts here but not sure if they ever released a single,the wikipedia entry on them is quite comprehensive,not exactly niel young but entertaining nonetheless…………..
    regards to you and dippers
    ps 400 bars!are you sure you’re not rowing the tardis?

  5. terry bradley says:

    Hi SARAH
    Good to see you are going along the red carpet at a good pace . Keep the good humour & spirit going & youll be on that sooner than you think .All the best ,take care & safe rowing !!!!

  6. Marcel says:

    Someone mentioned Yorkshire Pud. I’d kill for that. Two of my ex-wives were English. One of the reasons I divorced was that I was not fed enough Yorkshire Pud.

    I’ll exchange for Rum Punches.

    I am trying to negotiate some special rates for Helen et al with Air Mauritius. If I can’t get an OK after noon my time I have advised them to do their own. But I am confident something can be done.

  7. Joan B. says:

    Hi Sarah – Something to cheer you onwards. . . I’ve just read the following ‘nugget’ of information while browsing an online news service, and immediately thought of you!

    ” Scientists in Britain are looking for women willing to eat chocolate every day for a year — all in the name of medical science.”

    Couldn’t think of a more qualified candidate. My best to you.

  8. Christine & Kathleen says:

    Hello Sarah

    Wish I could come and drop some chocolate off for you but sadly I can’t, have to make up for it when you get back. Glad to hear that you have a ETA as such. Will be glued to the computer.

    Hope you have some more happy rowing days and all good wishes.

    C & K

  9. John Heslop says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Scientists in Britain are looking for women willing to eat chocolate every day for a year — all in the name of medical science. Researchers at the University of East Anglia and a hospital in Norwich are trying to find out whether chocolate can cut the risk of heart disease and need 40 women to step forward and help.
    Your next challenge, maybe?
    Keep flying,as well as the fish.

  10. Barry Bear Gumbert says:

    Hi Sarah:

    RUSH is a Canadian band, Alex Lifeson on guitars, Geddy Lee on vocals, bass, keyboards and pedals and Neil Peart writes most of the lyrics and
    is the best percussionist ever.

    They started in 1972 (Neil joined in 74) and they are still going strong even through more than their share of personal tragedies.

    Some of the best lyrics and music I’ve ever heard.

    They are what I call HEAVY “MENTAL” like Pink Floyd, one of my other favorites.

  11. Alan Romaine says:

    Hi Sarah. Sorry to admit it but I dislike the sea, however having just read The Mauritius Command as part of my “landlocked” adventure with O’Brien and Lucky Jack. I read about your trip in the Stamford Mercury and could not resist logging on, it brings Captain Aubrey and the Indian Ocean right into my lounge, thankyou. May I wish you good fortune and I will look forward in due course to reading about your safe return to the UK. Happy Rowing, Alan

  12. Roger and Caroline says:

    Hi Sarah
    I was down at Swanbourne beach today – the spot where you first set foot in the Indian Ocean. But much of the sand has been washed away in the winter storms. Looked out across the ocean and thought of you and your great journey. So glad you now have an eta. I’m reminded of a line in the famous boating song – “swing swing together ..” We here in Perth are swinging for your speedy arrival on the white sands of M. We really look forward to seeing you back in WA sometime and best wishes for all good fortune on this final leg. Roger

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