Tuesday 27 January 2015

Ocean Science's blog
Glenn Cooper
Tue 3 Feb 2015 14:49
Tuesday 27 January 2015
What a good idea of Mr Cooper to visit eBay again and buy a back-up satellite phone.  It was intended for our emergency grab-bag, but it proved useful when our fixed one went crook.  It is the fixed phone that carries data such as the email that forms this blog, but even though the back-up is voice-only it enabled us to phone the service provider and whinge about it , and also phone Ollie to ask him to put something on the blog to tell our eager public that we are still afloat.  (I have now seen these – thanks Oli; the boat awaits you in Antigua, G) 
One big change for us is the moon.  For many nights we were sailing in a Bible-black sea and sky.   The upside of having no moon and no clouds is, of course, the glittering dome of the cosmos -  we have had some splendid views of the whole array, from horizon to horizon - to the extent that stars on the horizon look like ships.  
The fishing continues, with an upward progression in terms of size.  The latest mahimahi was monster (see proud Ben below) but even so it took only 30 minutes from the fish being landed for it to be filleted and vacuum packed in the freezer.
As we slide westwards towards the Caribbean, there is chat on board about the islands and their history – often immeasurably sad, with tales of slavery, colonial greed, war, mass deportations and massacres. 
Also a lighter side, including the admiral who preceded Nelson in losing an eye in an English man o’ war; but he lost it chasing a cockroach round the dinner table trying to stab it with a fork. 
Also the tale of the flag of the Turks and Caicos Islands.  When they were established as a colony in the 19th century they sent their flag design to London.  The design followed the usual pattern, with a Union Jack top left, a red background and some sort of emblem in the middle.  The emblem they decided to use was a representation of the main industry on the islands at the time, which was the production of salt,  So theirs was a pile of salt.  The poor drone who dealt with these things in the Colonial Office didn’t know where the islands were, but he guessed they were somewhere in the Arctic because he thought the white pile was a bad drawing of an igloo.  He helpfully added a door in the middle to make it look more like an igloo.    So for over 100 years these tropical islands in the Caribbean had as their flag a picture of an igloo.
Pip pip, and and a special hello today to Josh and Aileigh.