5th December 2001
While I was on deck earlier, watching the net being hauled, I noticed a little bird scurrying around. It hid between some barrels. It was slightly oiled so I went to catch it, but it took off and flew away. It was a very odd looking bird, like nothing I’ve seen before. It looked a bit like a miniature penguin, although of course it wasn’t. For now I’ll call it Annie, as in Lennox. Hopefully the oil is superficial enough not to harm it.
I don’t know much about seabirds, and frustratingly I don’t have a book here with me, but I’m going to put that right when I get back to land. I find it incredible that birds can spend most of their lives at sea, only visiting land to breed and raise chicks. I keep thinking back to when I first went into the offices in London for my interview for this job. I waited in a tiny room with nothing but a couple of chairs and a water cooler for company. A photo on the wall caught my eye. It was of black-browed albatrosses in flight, eye-level with the photographer. I thought they looked absolutely stunning and I made a mental promise to myself that one day I’d go to the Southern Ocean and see them for real, and maybe see a full sized penguin while I’m at it.