Ode on a Dragonfly – Circumnavigation – Day 02

Day 02 : Atlantic Coast 

Things are rolling right along out here … made all the more pleasant by gentle breezes and relatively calm seas, largely due to the high pressure system which has settled in over the region.

Onward and WindwardOnward and Windward …

My plans are now to stop for a couple days in Bermuda to identify and neutralize a few uncooperative gremlins that have infiltrated our telecommunications set-up. The KVH satellite system is having a heck of a time locking onto a satellite. It’s done it a couple of times, but the vast majority of time, it just keeps searching. Now, it may be that the course I’m sailing puts the mast and carbon in the way of the signal … though I’m not sure why that would be an issue … or it may be something else entirely. Whatever it is, I don’t have any easy way to deal with it out here other than to call their tech support, which I will attempt later today. (This part of sailing isn’t much different than at home, is it?)

Anyway, while I’m talking tech, our set-ups onboard have redundancy built-in, so for example we have two computers. Unfortunately, the second computer hasn’t been totally set up yet and I need more internet time to do that … so until I do that, I have to write on the first computer and then transfer it over into the Iridium system – which while reliable, offers only limited bandwidth. Anyway friends … all that said … we’ll work out these issues, because they effect how we get information and stories from the boat to you. Ok, enough of that … shees!

Since being on the water, I’ve been engaged in some serious R & R. The days before departure were very long and allowed little time for rest. In my more active hours though, I’ve ventured some into the research agenda.

Secchi DiscSecchi Disc

I tried my hand at the “Secchi disc.” After testing it yesterday, I see I will have to consider some different methods to get this to work well … because as clear as the water is, at 40 feet deep, in the time it takes the disc to sink that far, Bodacious Dream just doesn’t like to sit still. So, I have to figure out how to keep the boat still enough in the water to allow the disc to sink faster. This will be no problem in places such as harbors and moorings. And we most certainly want to get a method in place before we hit the Southern Hemisphere, for which very little data of this type exists.

Today I did my first water filtering with the citizen-scientist kit that Tegan Mortimer put together for me. It’s actually very easy and simple to do, so you might want to try that at home. We described it midway through an earlier post here.

Another one of the things I’m doing for Earthwatch is recording what I see by way of wildlife and debris in the water. So far, I haven’t seen any debris, and the wildlife I expected to see, has been hiding out from me. What I didn’t expect was a visit from a bird, a moth and a dragonfly last night!

El DragonflyI wonder how a dragonfly makes its way 300 miles offshore? I suspect it gets caught up in the winds. Or do you suppose it might have hitched a ride on another boat, got tired of the food service onboard that boat, and then set off looking for another boat? It gets you imagining how the advent of ocean-crossing vessels altered native species migration. A vessel from Europe leaves for the New World, and it has some bugs onboard. They land in the New World and the bugs begin to procreate … (not unlike the passengers onboard.) On the return trip, along with cargo … you’ve got New World bugs now going back to Europe and disrupting the species pool over there … and so on back and forth. That is one larger role the oceans play … to serve as transit systems to move species of animals and vegetation from one unique environment into a totally different one, and in the course of that, to change the balance of nature all over the world.

Tigger the BirdTigger the Bird … but from where? 

Aside from musings like that … (you see what R & R will do to your brain) … it’s been awesome sailing. The weather is warm; the nights are clear and comfortable. With some luck, I should land in Bermuda on Sunday … with a hefty load of questions for the business world once it opens up on Monday morning. Once all that is settled, I hope to be back on the water by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Thanks to everyone for following. We’ll get these gremlins figured out, cause that’s our job … to keep you posted on what’s going on out here as we go sailing AROUND the world!

– Dave, Bodacious Dream, Dagger the Dragonfly & Tigger the Bird