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[DAY 80] Swimming with albatross

I will have to thank Neptune again for this wonderful day at sea with great swimming conditions. Ty, the dinghy master and Gonzo were pacing me with the dinghy. After the first two hours I took off my hoody, I was getting too hot. I kept my wetsuit on, even though it was warm enough to swim without it, but I knew I would have had major sunburns on my back without it. So I drank more today than usual.

I didn’t see much underwater, it was murkier than yesterday, only two maii maii came by me for a few seconds.  But I have to emphasize that I saw more pieces of plastic in the water column than sea life!

Each hour when I stopped for my food break, Ty and Gonzo took this opportunity to jump in the water to cool themselves off. Gonzo swam with me for about an hour in the morning, this was a nice change for me.

During my last break, one albatross landed a few feet away from me a few seconds later a second one landed right next to it, both of them came very close, about 3 feet away, and inspected me. By that time Gonzo and Ty had jumped in the water with GoPro to capture this unusual encounter. The albatrosses weren’t scared by us, the five of us were bobbing in the water and cooling off.

I noticed that when the second albatross landed, it went close to the other and they touched each other’s beak. I interpreted that as being some form of communication, and I was going to try it. I removed my snorkel and positioned the tube in front of my face and moved closer to the albatross. It came closer to me and touched my snorkel twice with its beak. Next, we tried to extend our fist to get fist-beak bumps, and we did!

Later on in the evening when I thought about the albatrosses, I remembered watching a documentary a few years ago talking about the affect of plastic in the ocean on birds. The footage showed the carcass of an albatross on a beach with the reminder of its stomach full of pieces of plastic – anyone can probably find one of those pictures online, it has been used so many times –

I wondered how much plastic if any was in the two beautiful albatrosses we just had a “pool party” with?

Ben

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4 comments

  1. Je suis de tout cœur avec vous Ben, Je vais nager pour vous accompagner en pensées et en soutien!! Je suis très admirative de votre démarche.. bravo bravo bravo
    😍

  2. What an awesome experience, Ben and Co! Thanks for sharing pictures of the Albatrosses swimming with you. Who would have thought they swim in the middle of the ocean?!

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