For my entire trip, I’ve almost constantly had evidence of life around me.
The number of birds circling the ocean must be immense as I would always see at least one or two birds within a mile radius of me.
I’ve had sporadic dolphins, seen the luminescence of plankton, the occasional fish. One of my few disappointments has been that I’ve not seen any whales.
As we crossed over the continental shelf this morning, I was truly blown away. The first indication of something special was several flocks of birds, too many to count, sitting in the water.
As I drew closer, whales started to surface through these birds, lazily blowing spray into the air with a loud hhmmmph. The dolphins appeared next, contrasting the lazy movements of the whales with fast deliberate porpoising.
I saw another creature, only a glimpse however, that must have been a seal. For a moment I thought it was a dog in the water, but I certainly heard no barking.
As Perpetual Succour drew closer to these birds, they would take off in their hundreds. Pattering their feet and flapping their wings, they would run along the surface until they judged it was safe and slide gracefully to a stop. One would decide to flee, and it would set off the rest in a chain reaction.
The sound of so many feet slapping the surface was a tribute to the existence of life of which I’ve never witnessed before.
Presented with so much life, I was overwhelmed, and shed a tear or two I must admit.
You leave such an encounter with a firm conviction that the presence of life is beautiful, and such a beauty must proceed from a great love.
I ambled along overnight at about 3 knots, and this morning the islands off the coast of Los Angeles started to come into view. First I saw San Nicolas, and San Clemente to the right. Santa Catalina was a long time coming, finally emerging out of the haze a few hours later.
By early afternoon, I still had a dead flat sea, but the winds came up to 10 knots and the sun emerged. The rest of the afternoon was the most pleasant sail I’ve ever experienced. For the sheer joy of it, I gave Bruce a rest and hand steered for many hours as we raced along at six knots.
It is now after dusk, and I’m just passing the northern tip of Santa Catalina Island and then will turn right for the Long Beach harbour entrance which is about 30 miles away.
The lights of Los Angeles are illuminating the horizon in a way that you don’t get in Sydney or Brisbane. I think I’m about to enter a city that is bigger than what I’m accustomed to!
Latitude: 33.437, Longitude: -118.721, Time: 05:12:23 03-07-2018 UTC