0500z 46/07s 97/289e, 11.7 knots @ 085degT, 20 knots wind west. Distance covered in past 24 hours: 248.9 nautical miles. Gybed this morning between two weather systems, en route to Western Australia ice gate.

A few days ago, an odd event occurred. I thought an albatross made an aerodynamic mistake. On a starboard gybe, the albatross came in low to leeward under the solent, in turbulence, flapped wings a couple of times (rare for an albatross), then looked as though it realized it couldn’t bank to make the bow, and nose-dived into the water two meters off the side of the boat. Then, after the boat left, it ran along the water to take off again, flapping its giant wings. Then I thought, maybe it’s fishing for squid; can’t imagine an albatross making an aerodynamic mistake. Until this morning, when, after some more work out at the end of the boom, I was in the cabin, standing behind the chart table, looking at the computer screen and instruments, when crash! bang!. Now whenever there is a new noise on a boat, its high alert for all human systems. I looked through the cabin window to the mid-deck, and I saw that an albatross had crash landed there. It scrambled to its webbed feet, trying to get a grip on the non-skid paint, got its wings out from underneath, started flapping, and climbed/flapped through the wire lifelines, and splashed into the water. I was definitely startled, but I think he was much more startled.

The work at the end of the boom entailed two sorties today. First, to put a lashing on the mainsail sheet block strop to pull it aft so that it wouldn’t chafe on the boom vang/preventer (see picture to the right). I had done this before, but on the other side on the other gybe, so had to do it on this side. Then went back out for a fairly long effort to put a backup lashing through that block and around the boom. Our lazy jack system and mainsail ‘skirt’ that holds the sail, doesn’t do a very good job at the end of the boom, so my support system wasn’t very good, but good enough to get a backup lashing in. Will do a better job in a calm.