26th December 2001
Boxing day isn’t celebrated in Portugal so today is just another day on board. It’s a bright day though banks of fog keep moving in. I went out on the bow after lunch for some fresh air and spent a good while out there before a bank of fog came over and left everything muffled and hazy.
Newfoundland is probably the foggiest place on earth. The fog is caused by the cold Labrador current flowing from the north colliding with the gulf stream from the south. The sea temperature can change dramatically at the interface of the two current systems and this gives rise to evaporation, condensation and fog.
Fog changes everything, sound is muffled, the sea goes silky smooth like oil and things appear larger and surreal. Newfoundlanders call this optical illusion fog-loom. Swells approaching through the fog seem much larger, the only way I can rationalise this is that things lose their three dimensional appearance and the horizon is lost so that the swell stands out against a white background of nothingness, there is no depth to it, like a cardboard cut-out.
I went back to my cabin and set about making my bed and tidying up when I heard the first mate on the bridge calling Reykjavik. I went up and asked him if I could make a call home. As I waited for my turn I was looking out the aft bridge window which looks over the trawl deck, when I noticed some dolphins darting around and under the boat.
I was really pleased to hear Mum answer the phone. Abs came on and was really excited about a new mini bike she had for Christmas and a candyfloss maker and Dad told me the news. I watched the dolphins and the fog as I chatted. Apparently the both times I tried calling yesterday it was engaged because Vik phoned to see if I had rang! What are the chances! Karen, Steve and the boys stayed last night and left a couple of hours ago. Now they are playing couch potatoes and watching TV; bliss, I bet Abs is playing with her presents. I wish I was there.