A Tale of Fog and Food

by Marie Michelson

July 20, 2006

The following posting is from Adam, who is onboard in the Bering Sea… 

Well today has outdone yesterday for fog so far. 1800hrs and still only small patches of visibility every now and then. And cold, like a winters day in Tasmania, although it’s the middle of summer. I went to bed about 0130 this morning and it was still totally light.
The most exciting thing to happen so far today is that a decent size ship appeared on the radar. We tracked it for a while and figured out it was running straight up the borderline. Of course we all speculated on what it could be- a US border patrol? A Russian one? A big trawler? We thought probably not the former or they would have hailed us as we are driving around in zigzags which would seem odd one would think. And we had no reason to hail it either to slake our curiosity, until some bright spark, and I wont say who, came up with the innovative idea of calling them and telling them we are research vessel Pacific Storm and had they seen any whales on their travels? They did not respond on the first set of calls, but about ten minutes later when we tried again they did. Bob, who has extensive offshore coastguard captaining experience sounds very official on the radio and we got back a rather timid response from a Filipino crewman who answered all Bobs questions on their course and destination. They had seen no whales but promised to call us if they saw “any whales or objects floating in the water”, which is great. At least for a little while we have another set of eyes in the fog.

Not a lot else to say today. Well I did spend a fair while pondering how the kittiwakes make a living out here. I’ve never seen one dive for fish or anything. They just seem to fly and fly, occasionally picking a spot on the water with great deliberation where they land and fold up there wings and just float around for a while before taking off again. According to the book they mug puffins for their food sometimes, steal eggs, eat refuse from fishing boats etc but there’s no fishing boats and very few puffins out here. They look healthy enough though so I’m not too worried about them 😉

As the fog gets thicker the cooking gets better-
James is making samosas.
I made fried rice with vegies and strips of egg in it and a satay sauce
Carol marinated chops in some sort of orangey sugary gingery stuff


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