Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Above and Below the Waterline

Things have gotten better since Saturday. We swapped some watches around on the boat and had some good crews on the platforms out there. Altogether, not a bad Week Three, at least the second half.

I am feeling a distinct sense of loss. Like there's a big hole in my life, suddenly. I'm sort of at loose ends, not sure what to do now.

That is to say, the wheelhouse painting project is DONE!

Man, between weather and dew and running, I thought I'd never finish. But it's done, from the top of the mast to the deck.

Oh, I have a couple of antenna mounts to touch-up, and the ladder up needs another coat, but really it's finished.

In other news, a Common Yellowthroat hitched a ride with us for three or four days this past week. Cool little bird.

This morning, another little warbler flew in through an open door, hopped onto my arm, and then began hunting all of the cracks and crevasses in the wheelhouse.

Not sure what species this one is -- if anyone knows, shoot me an email or leave a comment.

We threw a line at one of our distant platforms day before yesterday and received a very welcome surprise visitor -- a juvenile whale shark.

I say "juvenile" because the fish was only about 20 feet in length, and the world's largest living fish can grow to twice that.

It was the middle of the "night" for me, but I sure am glad one of my shipmates ran downstairs and woke me up for the event.

The big fish hung out with us for a couple of hours, swimming lazy circles right next to the boat. I suspect he may have thought we were mama.

One cool thing about these fish -- probably any really large marine organism -- is that they appear to be entire ecosystems to themselves.

This animal supported or attracted a pretty diverse variety of fauna, including barnacles, various remora-type suckers, ling and more.

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