Global Voyage

A Story About Sailing Around the World

Ray & Jenny aboard the ketch Suka

3 years, 35,000 miles, Nov 1982 - Jan 1986

Ray & Jenny Jardine

Chapter 1: Voyage to Fatu Hiva page 22 of 109

Visits by Birds

Late that evening an old and somewhat tattered masked booby alighted on the cabin top. Showing us no fear, it passed the night a mere four feet from the cockpit where Jenny or I sat on watch. Maybe it considered us castaways also.

photo

Egret, Booby, and Jenny back there somewhere.

The following morning, perhaps encouraged by the booby, a white egret landed aboard. The next day the egret flew away, only to return a few hours later with the remaining fifteen of its bedraggled covey. Although the cattle egret is a proficient flier, it is not a seabird. Clearly, these poor creatures did not belong out here. They could not drink seawater, and presumably they could not feed from the open sea or even alight on it. Only they knew the inestimable marvel of their survival, having been storm-hurled 1,700 nautical miles across an inhospitable ocean.

photo

Blue-Footed Booby.

Sounding a few purposeful squawks, the booby would waddle to the rail and fly away, only to return an hour or so later. Aboard, it experimented with several locations about the topsides, and eventually determined the afterdeck as the place most suitable. There it established its eminent domain. In order to adjust the self-steering vane, I had to nudge the comical creature aside to get at the mechanism. At my first intrusion the bird snapped at my hand with its long and sharp beak. Viewing this as rude behavior toward one's host, I retaliated by delivering a gentle thwack to its snout. And so we came to amicable terms; the bird could reside there if it pleased, with the understanding that I could come adjust the vane when necessary.

Beneath darkening skies, a stiffening, veering wind had Suka walloping along, close-hauled at speed. The flock of dainty, white egrets endured a slanting mist while perched gloomily about the cabin railing, the mizzen boom, and the lifelines. Jenny and I tried feeding them, and they seemed interested, but unfortunately they did not recognize our offerings as sustenance. We learned later that we should have set out fresh water for them, but unfortunately this did not occur to us.

“A stiffening, veering wind had Suka walloping along, close-hauled at speed.”

Leaving the birds to fend for themselves, I retreated to the shelter of the aft cabin for a nap justified by a long night on watch. Jenny busied herself sorting through the not-so-fresh-anymore fruits and vegetables. I later awoke to find lemons, limes, grapefruit, onions, cabbage and potatoes dangling nearly everywhere about the cabin in little satchels of cheesecloth and woven nets. This way, she explained, the fruit and vegetables would not tumble onto the sole, or become bruised by bashing about on the forecastle berth.

. . .

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Cattle Egret blown far out to sea by the storm.

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In the days to come the weather settled. The skies cleared, the wind and seas gradually surrendered their impertinence, and the egrets took to wing, leaving us to swab the decks.

At various intervals throughout the day the booby would sally forth, presumably on fishing excursions. Once it returned bringing another of its kind. This new bird flew around inspecting us distrustfully, and refused to land.

One afternoon our booby was descending on the aft rail when it made a minor miscalculation and crashed into a life line. From there it flopped into the water, unhurt. My insensitive laughing only further humiliated the poor creature. Chagrined, the proud bird flew away and never returned.

. . .

The shifting wind continued heading us, and eventually required us to come about onto the opposite tack. Having lived for more than two weeks heeled well over on the port tack, our home seemed disconcertingly askew, slanting heavily athwartships the other way. But in another few hours the wind had shifted back, enough to allow us to come about onto the port tack again; and with that our domain regained its port-listing normalcy.

The story has 109 pages. This is page 22.
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Page Links
GV 001: Title Page
GV 002: TOC
GV 003: Dedication
GV 004: Preface
GV 005: Prologue
GV 006: Beginnings
GV 007: Work Done
GV 008: Making Ready
GV 009: Departure
GV 010: Sailing Credentials
GV 011: First Lesson
GV 012: Sextant Navigation
GV 013: Safety Harness
GV 014: Murphy's law
GV 015: Spirit of Adventure
GV 016: Holding On
GV 017: First Big Storm
GV 018: Storm Intensified
GV 019: Rolling Violently
GV 020: Mizzen Sleeping Bag'sl
GV 021: Freeing the Propeller
> GV 022: Visits by Birds
GV 023: Crossing the Doldrums
GV 024: Nearing First Landfall
GV 025: Land Ho
GV 026: Fatu Hiva
GV 027: Trek Inland
GV 028: Anchor Watch
GV 029: Passage
GV 030: Hiva Oa
GV 031: Skin Diving Circus
GV 032: Almost Like a Jungle
GV 033: Polaris Missile
GV 034: Taiohaie Bay
GV 035: Cascade Hakaui
GV 036: Taipi Bay
GV 037: Cyclone Lisa
GV 038: Cyclone Nano
GV 039: Passage of Patience
GV 040: Tuamotu Archipelago
GV 041: Tahiti
GV 042: Cyclone Reva
GV 043: Secret Sharer
GV 044: Moorea
GV 045: Cyclone Veena
GV 046: Aftermath
GV 047: Good Weather in Papeete
GV 048: Huahine
GV 049: Raiatea
GV 050: BoraBora
GV 051: Rarotonga
GV 052: Tonga
GV 053: Fresh Air
GV 054: Tongan Feast
GV 055: Excursion to Maninita
GV 056: Mariner's Cave
GV 057: Fiji
GV 058: Ndravuni Island
GV 059: Mara Island
GV 060: Aneityum
GV 061: Noumea
GV 062: St Elmo's fire
GV 063: Breakwater Reef
GV 064: Bundaberg
GV 065: Life on the Burnett River
GV 066: Engine Sabotage
GV 067: Flying
GV 068: Aground in Round Hill Creek
GV 069: Gladstone Confinement
GV 070: Tropical Queensland
GV 071: Trip into Townsville
GV 072: Cairns Sojourn
GV 073: Cramped Cooktown
GV 074: Lizard Island
GV 075: The San Michelle
GV 076: Lost Mummy Cave
GV 077: Land's End
GV 078: Darwin
GV 079: Christmas Is
GV 080: Passage
GV 081: Cocos Keeling
GV 082: Crossing the Indian Ocean
GV 083: Rodriguez
GV 084: Mauritius
GV 085: Reunion Cirque de Mafate
GV 086: Reunion Cirque de Salazie
GV 087: Passage to Africa
GV 088: Kruger National Park
GV 089: Richards Bay
GV 090: Durban
GV 091: Port Elizabeth
GV 092: Cape Town
GV 093: Storm Passage
GV 094: St Helena
GV 095: Passage to Brazil
GV 096: Fortaleza
GV 097: Passage to Caribbean
GV 098: Bonaire
GV 099: Passage to Panama
GV 100: Panama
GV 101: Panama Canal
GV 102: Medidor
GV 103: Costa Rica
GV 104: Passage to Acapulco
GV 105: Acapulco to Cabo
GV 106: Baja
GV 107: Home Port
GV 108: In Retrospect
GV 109: Next Time
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