Day 10 |
Sep 25, 2012

At Sea

By Patricia Silva Rodriguez, Ornithologist

Co-ordinates: 11º 42’N, 16º 05’W
Weather: clear sky and no wind
Air Temperature: 30ºC, 64ºF
Sea Temperature: 30ºC
Pressure: 1013.8 hp
Wind: No wind

I woke up to lightly cloudy skies and gently rolling sea swells with sunshine later. Silver Explorer was sailing close to the bulge of Africa in the Guinea Current. It was a peaceful kind of day At Sea, with many activities to keep us busy if we so desired. The early birds enjoy a nice coffee in the Observation Lounge followed at mid-morning by lecture in The Theatre.

Christian Walter, our onboard historian, presented his lecture: Hugo Bernatzik – Images of Island Culture. He talked about the work of Hugo and Emmy Bernatzik on the African Continent. The day at sea continued with a presentation by the Executive Sous Chef, Bong, and the master of Sushi, Benjamin, about a culinary journey through the Philippines delicatessen and their exquisite cuisine.

As Silver Explorer sailed about 2 nautical miles off shore, up the Guinea Bisseau coastline, many Cape Gannets could be seen fishing in the water and some of them were chasing flying fish. Many other species of sea birds were feeding also in the nutrient-rich waters of the area, mostly Cape Gannets, Cory’s Shearwaters as well as Brown Boobies. It was pleasant sailing with a following sea and I enjoyed watching birds out on deck.

After lunch I offered a talk about Seabirds of West Africa – my favourite topic! I gave information about the life history of the birds and addressed data of the common species in the African coast together with interesting details about ecology, reproduction, migration and foraging strategies.

In the late afternoon, our Expedition Leader Robin West offered the first Mandatory Zodiac Briefing for all guests planning to join us ashore in Bijagos Archipelago, our next destination.

In the early evening it was nice to relax at tea time while some played Team Trivia. Several islets were seen from our position and heaps of seabirds swarmed around the coastline; they were mostly a variety of terns. Flying fish erupted out of the water beside the ship, moving 20 or 30 feet at a time as they accelerated away using their tail fins for extra lift. At approximately 7.30 pm the Venetian Society Dinner was served and after that some guests continued the evening by enjoying the smooth piano sounds in the Panorama Lounge.