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June 4, 2014

Day 9 on STS Lord Nelson, South Atlantic

Breakfast on deck before another opportunity to get into the boats and visitanother island in the Abrolhos Archepeligo. Another chance to swim and snorkel in the beautiful clear and warm waters. Many marine creatures were spotted, particularly by Edison once freed from his wheelchair.

Others from the crew went on tours of the island with guides from the conservation team based on the islands and were shown the birds in various stages of bringing up their young. Three main species on the island were Masked Boobys, Brown Boobys who nest on the ground and were quite  by our invasion  of their territory although whistles and quacks were given if we went too close to the young. The other species nesting in caves was the Red Billed Tropic Bird. Other residents were large numbers of lizards which scurried to and fro before sunning themselves on the rocks. 

Many low growing ground cover plants and grasses covered the island with small pink and white flowers and apart from several coconut palms and a solitary ficus tree, there is nothing which grows more than one metre tall as this is the natural environment of the island. The nature reserve of the islands and surrounding seas was set up 35 years ago, still has some way to go back to its natural habitat.

Once back on board for lunch, we prepared to weigh anchor and leave the islands and again head north to our next port of call. Light winds slowly disappeared to leave us motoring north east during the night, hoping to find the wind and return to sailing. Slipping back into the daily routine came easy and the four or five days at sea ahead. Smoko brought a lovely cake for Aoife, bosun’s mate, birthday today. The group of young Brazilians working under the watchful eye of Bosun Lesley were set the task of raising a bucket of water up the main mast to the first platform, across to the fore mast and back onto the deck spilling as little as possible. This they achieved with much shouting and laughter, most not understood by the rest of us, and on return to our Aft Stbd watch, Adrian and Alexander, sea scouts from Rio, were still excited and proud of their afternoons successful fun.

As our watch came to an end at four o’clock, the sun still in the sky and a beautiful deep blue sea, we continued to motor on searching for the wind.

Keith, Aft Stbd watch

P.S. Craig, one of our bosun’s mates wishes his sister Fiona a happy
birthday, and hopes you have had a good one.


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