The racing is relentless, as shift follows shift, sometimes sunny and sometimes pitch black. One of the rare changes to the routine is the sighting of wildlife bearing in mind we haven’t seen any other vessels or people since the day after we left Brest. Flying fish are in abundance and scared by the unexpected arrival of Jamaica, they glide across the sea rising and falling on the air over the uneven ocean, travelling considerable distances before dropping back into the sea. At night they are attracted to the boat and we regularly have to clear the decks and cockpit of fish in the morning. Sometimes they arrive with a slap, or even hit the crew sitting on deck but often are unheard visitors who quietly perish in the bottom of the boat. It is rather sad especially when they have made the enormous effort of leaping into a boat that is at least 1 metre above the sea. Other visitors include birds that follow the boat waiting for the startled flying fish to emerge so they can dive down and enjoy a snack.
Other sights include dolphins who come alongside for a look and to splash around the boat and we came across a school of pilot whales about 50 m off the port side, languidly rolling over the surface, giving a great view of their unusual dorsal fins. One baby was more enthusiastic leaping out of the water repeatedly. It is rather strange and humbling to encounter these animals in such a massive expanse of water, and seems such a lucky coincidence that our paths should have crossed.
A couple of days ago we came across three turtles on the water within a couple of hours, who slowly dived below the surface as we approached. Again I find myself asking what are the chances of our paths crossing out here but perhaps there is a huge abundance of life out here, invisibly going about its business just below the surface.