Saturday, 13 August 2005

Of the ocean and living beings therein.

So for the last 4 days I'd been holed up on a ship, not just any ship, a rather small supply vessel going by the ungainly name of the Toisa Mariner. This being my first real voyage by ship, I was suitably awestruck by the immensity of the sea.

As a matter of fact I was sailing in the world's largest waterbody - the Pacific Ocean. I must mention thought, that the ship was pretty much skirting around the edge of it, in case anyone is thinking about some massive trans-Pacific voyage! Be as it may, the appearance of desolation is pretty much absolute. It is as though we were the only humans on the face of the earth.

Oh there were other living beings of course! On the second day of the journey we saw dolphins!! Trust me, they are every bit as adorable as they are made out to be, swimming along with the ship, often easily out-pacing it, leaping out of the water n diving back in with a splash.... Lovely creatures!

And then there were the jellyfish. I have never seen anything more boring in my life. They do nothing! Just float by like some lifeless thing. In fact the resemblance they bear to a floating plastic bag is rather remarkable.

Finally there are the birds. Now this particular morning, I was standing alone on the for'ard deck braving the rather chilly wind (seamen would call it only a light fresh breeze but do not be deceived!), when I noticed it. A white bird, looking rather like a sea gull, flying very close to the water. I looked around, no land in sight. I even went up to the bridge to check if there was some convenient piece of land where the bird could have come from, but there was nothing for more than 50 miles all around. And then I saw the bird do a rather strange thing. It dipped very close to the water, and refused to emerge from among the waves. In a little while I spotted it comfortably sitting on the water (duck-like), no wonder they can come so far out into the sea. But I do wonder, with the water temperature well below 10 degrees, what in the world was saving the bird's butt from the cold?!!

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