Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Passenger on board!


Another good day of sailing! With a 25 to 30 kts of NWly breeze and 2 to 2.5 mtrs of SWly swell, Mhadei cruised along through the day clocking almost 100 Nm  since morning. If only these conditions last for the next couple of days! Though the forecast is for lighter winds for the next two days and already the wind seems to be reducing in strength. Its amazing how much difference sailing downwind makes as opposed to upwind. With similar conditions upwind we would have been slamming around as we did in the Trades, now, going downwind, anything below 20 kts is suddenly a cause for concern!

         
          This evening as I was making dinner, I heard a loud thrashing in the cockpit such as I have never heard before on the boat. After almost a month of solitude it made me jump, so left everything and took a look outside, only to find a passenger onboard! Not sure if the bird is hurt, tired or just missed water and landed onboard. Being a hospitable boat had to offer him something so in the absence of fresh fish, which I presume is its only diet, tried some dried prawns but it does not seem to be interested. Doesn't seem to be too scared of me as I discovered when I patted it a little and took these snaps. It tries to go out of the cockpit once in a while, needs a bit of help to climb up but then comes back instead of flying away. Not sure if it is unable to fly because it is hurt or it requires a running start to take off as I have seen them doing when they land on water. These type of birds have been following us for days now and we have developed an unspoken companionship so they are always welcome to hitch a ride! I think I will just let him be for the night. Will need to watch my step if I need to go out at night if the wind shifts or dies out lest I step on the poor thing. Maybe Adm Awati will be able to figure out what bird it is! 


11 comments:

Jaydeep said...

Wondering if Mhadei will become Noah's Ark by the time it returns to Mumbai .... :)

Rashmi said...

Dilip, You seem to atttract nature well !! Enjoy the company and I think you have got your Man Friday . or Bird Friday !! Waiting to hear from you the shout Australia Ahoy !! Ravi and Rashmi

Sucheta Jadhav said...

Hi Dilip, great to see you making super progress. Less than a month and all those NM covered- way to go!

Jaydeep said...
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Jaydeep said...
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Jaydeep said...
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Anonymous said...

buddy that looks like a little black cormorant.you can wiki for that.the pic looks drastically like it.
Manish Dhawan

Jaydeep said...

Dilip, it might be Light mantled Sooty Albatross. If you can access wikipedia, check this out : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-mantled_Sooty_Albatross

Habitat:The Light-mantled Albatross has a circumpolar pelagic distribution in the Southern Ocean. It ranges in latitude from the pack-ice around Antarctica, with the southernmost record from 78°S in the Ross Sea, to about 35°S.

Feeding:The principal diet of Light-mantled Albatrosses consists of squid and krill, though other crustaceans and fish are taken as well as seal, penguin and petrel carrion. They sometimes feed in association with pilot whales and Southern Right Whale Dolphins, and occasionally follow ships. Food is usually taken on or close to the surface of the ocean, within a depth of 5 m (16 ft), though there is a record of a 12 m (39 ft) dive.

Conservation Status: NT (Near Threatened)

Francis Porsingula said...

Hi Dillip, Hearty congratulations and best wishes for your voyage. It is quite interesting to read about your life on water. Francis Porsingula

pallavi said...

I guess bird is a gud company for you

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