Sunday, April 8, 2012


Noon Position: 41 49' S, 88 30' E, SOG 2, COG 070, Day's Run 110nm.
Except for the brief frenzy of shearwaters encouraged by my corned beef,
The birds of the southern ocean are largely indifferent to my presence.
They drift by, solemnly circling, rarely coming close enough to catch a
draft off the sails, but mostly just continuing with their avian
existence. My presence or absence from the deck does not seem to
disconcert them, or even be worthy of notice. My highly scientific
research into the startle-ability of seabirds has been a complete
failure - no matter how loudly I yell and shout "BOO!" or "Hey You!
Stupidhead!" or even a long bellow of "Albatroooosss!!!" I get no
reaction, not even the twitch of a wing-tip or flick of a foot. Perhaps
because of the lack of any humans to interact with, I tend to
anthropomorphize the sea, the weather, and the birds, reading emotions
and motives into everything from a nasty swell to a headwind, or
ascribing human embarrassment to an awkward albatross. This, of course,
is patently silly - the sea and the sky are just as inhumanly
indifferent to my presence as the birds. There's no malice in the
drizzle that soaked my shirt while reefing, or the wave that seems to
get me just before I go below every time I'm on deck without foulies on,
nor is there any benevolence or joy in a warm sunny day drying my
cushions and sheets or in a glorious sunset. They just are. The sea
and the sky and the birds silently whirling overhead, all grandly
indifferent to my presence. My presence or absence in these waters
makes no difference to the world, and the sea and the sky and the birds
would still be here, solemnly circling in the wind and the rain and the sun.


  1. "Be with what is so that what is to be will become."

  2. But your presence does makes a difference to many in this world. The birds can be indifferent, but others are not :)