Today I took one of my water samples for Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation. Each sample needs to be a full litre, and we have been given special bottles to use for sampling. As well as taking the sample itself and labelling it, I need to fill in a form with as much data as possible, including the wind speed and direction at the time of sampling. Once back on shore I will send off all the samples I’ve taken to be tested for microplastics (the tiny, insidious particles into which plastic pollution breaks down).
I’ve been noticing that I’m either more sensitive to the weather out here than I usually am, or I’m just more aware of it because there are so few other influences/stimuli. Yesterday was a really close, brooding sort of day, overcast and hot. All day I had a bad headache. A little rain came along late afternoon, clearing the sky and the atmosphere, and with it my headache, leaving behind a fresh, brilliant evening of bright sunshine. Looking back through my log book last night, I noticed that this is the third time I’ve had a bad headache since I’ve been out here; each time the weather has been similar, and each time the headache has cleared with the freshening weather. Maybe it’s coincidence, but it doesn’t feel like it.
– Yesterday evening after the sun came out I heard a splashing sound and looked around to see that I was being approached by about eight bottlenose dolphins. They came right up to Darien, and swam under and around us for quite a few minutes before continuing on their way.
– Just as I was having my lunch today I saw something to Darien’s stern, very near the rudder. Looking closer, I saw it was a turtle! It hung around all through lunch, watching me and splashing about. Although I’ve seen turtles at sea before (when I’ve been diving), it seemed really unexpected and out of place today, hundreds of miles away from land and swimming about on the surface all alone. I said goodbye after lunch and we went our separate ways.