Diary of a Clipper Racer

Around the world in 333 days with Mark Osgood

Supporting my chosen charity - "Dreams Come True"

Final Diary entry, 54, added Monday 6th October 2003.

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51 - Race 15 - Foggy Days  - September 2003

The weather out of New York could not be more different to the weather we had experienced coming in.  Since leaving on Thursday night, weve been hit by the Newfoundland Fog - notorious for this part of the Atlantic. Its caused by the shallow, warm water mixing with the cooler air.

Life on watch involves a watch member on the foredeck on lookout and another on the radar.  Occasionally, the fog will lift for a while and well catch sight of a fishing vessel about 3 miles away.  Then the fog will descend again and the vessel will not be seen again other than on radar.  We passed within half a mile of one but never heard or saw a thing on deck.  It makes you realise how scary life must have been before radar.  Especially when you hear the deep groan of a foghorn and have no idea where its coming from.

Oilies and boots are the order of the day, and woolly hats are back in fashion.  Life below decks is damp, caused mainly by condensation.  The temperature is much cooler than before, so the sleeping bags are finally out of their sacs.

Whale Circus

Roll up, roll up, for the greatest wildlife show on earth!  At last, weve seen the wildlife wed been promised.   The sea up here is teeming with dolphins, which are huge, and which enjoy swimming at the bow just below our feet.  They seem to enjoy the attention, and pose for photographs at the drop of a hat!  We had a spectacular show from them early today, diving under the boat, racing alongside of us and jumping up to take a bow.

Next on the list of attractions were the pilot whales.  More sedate in their actions, they arrived alongside, popping their noses out of the water to check out the strange white object driving through their back yard.  Obviously uninterested in TGSL, they wallowed away, with a nonchalant flick of their tails to impress their audience.

But the best show was saved until last.  Shrieks of enjoyment woke up anyone who was tempted to sleep, when we witnessed the pilot whales much bigger cousins.  We think they were humpbacks, but they may have been northern right whales.  They were much less showy, choosing to float at the surface and roll around with just their huge tails popping out of the water every now and then. 

Tickets for the next show are available, we understand, in 2005.

Carol and Ossie

Click here for diary 52 - Race 15 - Approaching Jersey - September 2003 

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