Monday, September 21, 2009

"Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh my! The Sea Edition"

As most of you are aware, I’m on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean.  18 of the past 28 days I have been on the ship in the wide open ocean, what does that mean?  Well I’m glad you asked.  That means there is nothing around us but water and more water and yet more water.   In case you're slow, I am surrounded by nothing but water, it is the Atlantic Ocean after all.

Excitement stirred when off the coast of the Cape Verde Islands we saw a beautiful sailboat and while en route from Morocco to Ghana we have had our fill of container ships passing.  One of them passed real close this morning (about 20 nautical miles).  The most excitement however has been stirred by the flying fish and the schools of dolphins that swim by.  There have been dozens of sightings of these schools of dolphins.  One of my coworkers woke up the other morning and said “there were hundreds of them swimming outside my cabin window”   other’s have seen them while they workout, or while eating breakfast and lunch.  For me however the schools of dolphins have been oh so elusive.  Yesterday on our “day off” I sat in the faculty/staff lounge finishing a book that one of my former graduate students gave me (shout out to G Benson), I sat with a 180 degree view of the majestic ocean and not a dolphin to be seen.  This morning without alarm clock I woke up before 6am and watched the silent ocean for about an hour and saw WATER… nothing but water, an occasional white cap wave or swirl would get my attention but aside from that no dolphins, or flying fish, not even a tanker in sight. 

As I tired of watching the water I dressed to go work out and decided to go up to breakfast, I saw a couple of my colleagues and joined them.  As I sat with them on the outer 6th deck eating a great breakfast enjoying the warm sun we talked about some things that are going on in the world and then I started to voice my complaint that I have yet to see any dolphins, when BL states to me, “oh! I saw some this morning while I was working out”. Of course she did!  That must have occurred in the moment I decided to go to the bathroom and brush my teeth and then dress to go to breakfast.  (SIGH).

I decided that I would resume a workout regime since I have not done so since I got on the ship, so today I walked the 5th deck for an hour, The fifth deck is where our life boats are located so it’s a long deck about 100 yards where I walked back and forth at a brisk pace for an hour listening to my iPod and enjoying the ocean breeze, it was a tad bit humid this morning but just wonderful.  I walked in inner silence and peace, pondering and meditating a bit.  And no, I did not see not one Dolphin.

I realize there is much more ocean to travel, I am looking forward to our crossing the equator next week and then our transition into the Indian Ocean and even further to the Pacific Ocean.  As I spoke to my colleague BL this morning we talked about how we can’t wait to see whales when we get there.  But at this point I’d be happy to just see a mammal damn it! I’d even settle for a squirrel (yeah I know it’s not a sea animal, but it’s the most common animal I could think of).  My sole consolation has been the great number of Magnificent sunsets I have witnessed.  Some of them just blazing orange across the sky seeming to be pulled down by force leaving traces of color in its path; others gently settling into an already Indigo sky, truly breathtaking.  For now I will settle for the sunsets and be happy until I spot a dolphin, but you know what would be even better... a shark but beggars can’t be choosers I suppose.

I will update this post when I finally spot a sea animal, hopefully I will have my camera and be able to provide picture proof.  


  1. Hello and God Bless you!! It sounds like you are having a marvelous time traveling God's world. Enjoy and take it all in!!

    Elder Frank Williams AKA THE MAYOR :)

  2. Enjoy Ana! Once in a lifetime opportunity, I am so jealous lol. You will see dolphins & flying fish soon.... Darshell