- While nearly 110 miles off the coast of Mauritania, I looked out the window and saw a little flag go by, floating on the surface of the ocean, sticking up on a pole about 1 meter high. It looked like one of those markers a fisherman would use to mark his net or lobster trap, and I didn’t see any others.
- Off the Ivory Coast (as I write this), this morning I looked out our cabin window and happened to see some weird fish surface about 20 meters away. It kept sticking its head out of the water and opening its gaping mouth (maybe 4 to 6” across); it sort of looked like an eel or something, though I have no clue.
- More than 50 miles off the coast of Sierra Leone, we were encountering occasional patches of orange-ish seaweed (like you see in pictures of the Sargasso Sea). We encountered one big patch, perhaps the size of a football field, and dispersed about it every 10 or 20 meters would be some random piece of sea garbage.
- While showing Heidi the Flying Fish off the port side of the ship on Deck 5, I looked down into the sunlit water and saw what appeared to be a sea turtle, though I couldn’t be sure. It was greenish, and just sort of hovering just below the water’s surface. Had about 10 seconds to watch it before it disappeared to the aft side of the ship.
- Two nights ago we had our Extended Family Dinner, where we ‘adopted’ four college students for the voyage (one, Matt Kottenstettle, three degrees removed from Heidi’s friend Erin Brown!). During dinner, all of a sudden people were jumping up left and right, running to the starboard side windows, where a pod of dolphins 100 meters away could be seen jumping out of the water doing flips and barrel rolls.
- The color of the Atlantic Ocean is an amazing deep azure blue, much more blue than I would have imagined.
I can’t remember the last time I saw a high altitude airplane, and I still have no idea why someone named the right side of the ship ‘starboard’, though I’m certain many of the academics on board would be happy to enlighten me.