Ship’s Log: Day Twenty Two (Melbourne to Tilbury)

Twenty second day of the voyage; fifteenth day of the Pacific crossing.

Walking in bosun territory, up on the peaceful bow after a tropical shower, to view the ungainly (out of water and air) and somewhat cute cormorants resting on the foremast. About 15 pairs of webbed feet on white steel, wings out to be cleaned, bums dropping massive blobs of white and back crap. A dozen or so today joined their four Galapagos friends, who had been with us since yesterday, but as we approached Panama and dusk, they were off to find another ship further out to sea where it would conveniently disturb the flying fish so they could snap up one or two.

As I was perusing the birds and avoiding their shits, I sighted land for the first time in over two weeks: the mist-covered and mountainous coast of Panama. While thinking of Spanish invaders first viewing the Pacific, indigenous people responding, the accident-prone first efforts to build the canal, I realised once again that this gentle approach to a new land, which suddenly emerges from beneath the mist, is both a privilege now to a few and the way most people have done it for centuries, if not millennia.



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