Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cruise: Day 6 - Sushi Watching

The ocean has been as placid as, well, the eponymous lake all day. We have seen nothing higher than 5’ waves for the entire trip, but the sea conditions today are as flat as a pool of mercury. The temperatures have also been quite moderate, probably to a fault for the sun worshippers out at the pools. I have taken this opportunity to enjoy the most relaxing day that I can remember. With nothing at all on the schedule and the delightful weather conditions, I have spent almost all of my time either on the veranda or down on deck 3 watching the ocean slide by.

Watching the ocean might not be quite as uneventful as you might think. We were traversing waters that reportedly offer up whale sightings now and then, but none of the massive swimmers were to be seen. I did see quite a few of the flying fish again, although this time entire schools of them would blast out of the ocean’s surface rather than the soloists I had seen before. It really was a treat to see a couple of dozen of them come thrashing out of the water together, only to disperse in a peacock tail of trailing wakes on the water. I’m amazed at the distances they can fly, just glancing the surface of the water and periodically dipping in their tails to propel themselves ever faster and further. Their bodies glint brightly in the sun and they look just like dragonflies on a pond.

I had to get online to do early check-in for the flight home right at the 24 hours before flight time to ensure an early enough boarding number to allow for an open bin above our seats for our big carry-on bag, and while I was waiting for the magic second to roll around I Googled flying fish. I was simply curious as to why they fly. According to Wikipedia, it is to evade predators. Well and good, but it cost me hours of watching and waiting for the ultimate irony: I would love to have seen some poor fish fly across the ocean using its unique adaptation to its hostile environment only to have a bird swoop down or a bigger fish leap up to catch it.

And yes, that moment of glorious irony would have been worth a fish’s life to me. I’m like that.

It was unlikely to happen, though, given how hard I found it to even catch the little buggers on the camcorder. I was only able to catch flighting (heh!) moments of their all-too-brief flights and after awhile gave it up as being nearly impossible. Having thrown in the towel, I decided the rest of the afternoon could be spent far less productively (which was, after all, the goal) on the veranda with a book and a glass of vodka. Best, I thought, to keep the camera with me, just in case.

And that is how I managed to capture a minute or two of an entire (School? Pod? Group? Clan? Coven? Gang? Herd?) of dolphins swimming alongside the ship, jumping in the graceful arcs that are so much associated with the perpetually smiling mammals of the deep.

They are mammals, aren’t they? I’d Google it if I hadn’t wasted my last internet minutes on those damn flying fish.

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