Day 82 Pelagic company 22/11/13

 Nov 22, 2013Position: 42 15 S, 134 52 E

One of the wonderful opportunities sailing around the world across its many seas, is the opportunity to observe the wonderful variety of pelagic bird species. Sailing from Victoria down the west coast of North America and through the tropics, down the coast of New Zealand across the Tasman Sea and now out into the Great Australian Bight, I’ve passed many small islands that are nesting areas for magnificent birds. There are very few days that I am not visited by at least one or more of these curious feathered creatures. The smallest, the white rumped storm petrel, has entertained me with charming ballet performances on one skinny little leg dangling from its frail frame completely oblivious to the howling gale around us. Then there’s the magnificent Wandering Albatross also at ease in the tumultuous Southern Ocean, completely in control, expertly gliding under a pair of perfectly engineered wings mere centimetres above the breaking waves.  

There have been days when I’ve been becalmed where many birds take a rest on the surface and keep me company as we drift along. Many Cape petrels in pairs and threesomes have touched down nearby. Royal Albatross as well as pairs of Wandering Albatross have landed close to the boat and began an affectionate liaison stroking each other with their bills and nodding up and down. All of these birds are in pristine condition with rarely a feather out of place. I have several books to identify them – Rodger Tory Peterson’s “Western Birds”, Sea Birds of the Southern Ocean by P.P.O. Harrison and, Identification of Birds of the Southern Ocean by Dereck and Sandy Bartle. The last two were gifts from our friends Mike and Jean Layland. Identifying birds from the deck of a small boat in this environment s a little challenging but the birds are there every day and it’s fun to watch them. It’s also nice to be accompanied by other living things in this vast watery world. 

Course 303 T Speed 6.4 knots Wind SE 15 Waves SE 1.5 -2 m Cloud 95% Temp 12 C Baro 1022 Miles in last 24 hrs: 137 nm Volts 13.42



  1. Mom, Barbara, Hugh, Alex and I here at the house. Another Sunday dinner. Great having the moms here to help out, laundry folding, pie making etc. Nice day here..sunny. Hugh and I got out for a nice ride in the woods…no injuries.
    Mom is well. She is sitting here saying how proud she is of you, and missing you. Really missing you. I hear you have a new drink. Tea and scotch. Do you have a name for that…..if not…you need to make one up. Mom is just saying “Oh how would brandy be in tea!” lol Glad to hear you have a nice wind behind you…a nice broad reach…

  2. Crikey mate – beautiful writing! I think you’re ready to hang up the hammer and saw and take up the pen full time! Keep it coming!!
    Wishing you safe passage across the Great Australian Bight.

  3. Bobbie and Terry Elworthy says

    Hi Glenn Terry and I look forward to your daily reports which brighten our day no end. We have spoken to a friend of ours about ‘Going Solo’ and I have shown him copies to read when he visits us. At one time he was Skipper of the Oriole and built his own sailing vessel. I have phoned Peter’s son to get your reports on line for him. I am amazed at the amount of food you must have to pack for the trip. Looking forward to day 83. Bobbie and Terry

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