Sex, Drugs, and Public Health

February 9, 2014

DAY ONE AT SEA

Filed under: Uncategorized — cbmosher @ 12:26 am

1 lifepreserver

Where the Pacific and Atlantic collide, their violent offspring is the Southern Ocean. Our ship ploughs thru its westerly waves and winds, weaving a zig-zag as she is pushed to the east, then auto-corrects back to the west. Our wake is a line as sinuous as a snake swimming the surface, driving relentlessly southward, toward Elephant Island.

 

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Albatrosses, with heads the size of a man’s and a ten-foot wingspan, swoop the turbulent waves, gliding, turning, smelling for food. The Ornithologist on board says that these pelagic birds remain on the wing, day and nite, in all weather, for up to two years between breeding on land to raise a chick, then return to the open ocean. They seldom beat their wings – they are gliders. They can live to age 75 years.

The control room on the Bridge of this 367-foot ship is fully digitalized – not much technology there which I could use to drive a boat. The ship, the National Geographic Explorer, has on-board a reverse osmosis plant to produce water and store up to 33,000 gallons. All wastewater is treated to secondary level, then discharged.

Staff on board includes a SCUBA diver, Ornithologist, Marine Mammal experts, an Antarctica Historian, an expert on Ice, and several professional photographers in addition to the ship’s crew, stewards, waiters, and cooks. They come from Sweden, the Philippines, New Zealand, Britain, the U.S., France, and Oregon.

We  are making 15 knots and have nearly 1,000 kilometers to go.

Sarah’s connected with a Nat’l Geo professional photographer, and is turning out some great shots of sea birds and the ship.

1 Albatros

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