Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Noon Position: 6 14' S, 121 34' W, SOG 5, COG 015, Day's Run 122nm,
Week's Run 777 miles. The weather is getting increasingly warm, and I
have made the astonishingly belated discovery that I am both a far more
pleasant person, and am far more pleasant, if I periodically dump a
bucket of water over my head between the hours of 10 and 2 before
retiring to the airless pit in which I hide from the sun's rays. As I
was skimming my Great Big Book of the Oceans (with an introduction by
Fabien Cousteau!) yesterday I came upon the information that the
Atlantic flying fish is capable of remaining airborne for up to 100m,
and I began to wonder how this suspiciously round number was
ascertained. I enjoyed the image of teams of highly educated
ichthyologists laying out long strings of floating line, demarcated in
1m intervals, from their research vessel before dashing about the ocean
in small inflatables, trying to first herd a school of flying fish the
start of the course, then scare them into the air, transforming the
school for a few brief instants into a flock. I'm sure in reality some
grad student at Wood's Hole grunted out the first plausible number that
came to mind when the Great Big Book of the Ocean people came calling
early on a Monday morning, eager to return to a restorative pot of
coffee. But one can dream.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, Eric, my brother-in-law is one of those who worked as a Grad student at Wood's Hole. His expertise is clams. Stay cool!