Please select your home edition
Edition
Beneteau SAIL Sense 51-57 728x90

'The Ocean is Broken' - without fish, there can be no birds

by Nancy Knudsen on 23 Oct 2013
We used to see hundreds of birds SW
I first noticed the lack of birds when sailing the coastline of Turkey - only in a couple of bays were there a few cormorants and seagulls. We had been so used to thousands of birds when close to any coastline, and coming up the Red Sea was a delight. We dropped in a line when we needed another fish, and always found one within minutes.

But it was the Pacific that really shocked us, its lack of fish - and because there were no fish, neither were there any birds.

Now a sailor who has just sailed from Australia to Japan has told the same story to journalist Greg Ray in Newcastle, Australia, in a story called 'The Ocean is Broken':


It was the silence that made this voyage different from all of those before it.

Not the absence of sound, exactly.

The wind still whipped the sails and whistled in the rigging. The waves still sloshed against the fibreglass hull.

And there were plenty of other noises: muffled thuds and bumps and scrapes as the boat knocked against pieces of debris.

What was missing was the cries of the seabirds which, on all previous similar voyages, had surrounded the boat.

The birds were missing because the fish were missing.

Exactly 10 years before, when Newcastle yachtsman Ivan Macfadyen had sailed exactly the same course from Melbourne to Osaka, all he'd had to do to catch a fish from the ocean between Brisbane and Japan was throw out a baited line.

'There was not one of the 28 days on that portion of the trip when we didn't catch a good-sized fish to cook up and eat with some rice,' Macfadyen recalled.

But this time, on that whole long leg of sea journey, the total catch was two.

No fish. No birds. Hardly a sign of life at all.

'In years gone by I'd gotten used to all the birds and their noises,' he said.

'They'd be following the boat, sometimes resting on the mast before taking off again. You'd see flocks of them wheeling over the surface of the sea in the distance, feeding on pilchards.'

But in March and April this year, only silence and desolation surrounded his boat, Funnel Web, as it sped across the surface of a haunted ocean.

Read the rest of this sad story by http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1848433/the-ocean-is-broken/!clicking_here.
Wildwind 2016 660x82Barz Optics - Kids rangeJeanneau Sunfast 660x82

Related Articles

Composite engineering expertise propels Southern Spars into AC50 build
The Peter Blake skippered Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map The Peter Blake skippered Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map with her unequalled clean sweep of the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race. Composite spars weren't new at that stage, but the engineering was not well understood. Blake's second Round the World race was aboard Heath's Condor the first racing yacht to use a composite spar - which broke on the first leg of four in the race.
Posted today at 2:45 am
Debbie says the 8thP with Insurance is Patience (Pt.III)
We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance. We’ve looked at what it was like to come into a disaster zone, seen the evidence of those that did the right thing, and how the area is already on the road to recovery. Now we’ll see why patience is the key in the aftermath of her fury.
Posted on 30 Apr
Debbie says the 8thP with Insurance is Patience (Pt.II)
We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance. We looked at what it was like to come into a disaster zone and now we see the evidence of those that did the right thing, and how the area is already on the road to recovery.
Posted on 25 Apr
You can almost see it
The windward/leeward is great fun and a real test of your skills. True, it might be hard for the uninitiated to follow The windward/leeward is great fun and a real test of your skills. True, it might be hard for the uninitiated to follow, but then sailing is not the world’s largest spectator sport by any means. Badminton does rate higher, after all. Still, when you’re doing it, you not really worried about little racquets and small, caged up, feathered thingamabobs.
Posted on 24 Apr
She’s still here with us, and now we can be there for her
Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Yet it is what lies behind that which could be her most incredible characteristic. Sometimes you can almost overlook her steely determination, but not for long when you start talking with her. Catching up with her live from Cape Town surely was a vivid reminder of not only what this sailor can accomplish
Posted on 24 Apr
Gladwell's Line - Timeout in Bermuda and a decision OTUSA will regret?
With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath from what has been a hectic couple of months, both in Auckland and Bermuda. The third major Practice Session has concluded in Bermuda. This was conducted almost entirely if winds of around 16-25kts - starting to get close to the top end of the range for the AC50's.
Posted on 20 Apr
Debbie says the 8thP with Insurance is Patience
This all stems from the learnings in the widely read, ‘Debbie says there are 7 Ps and 1 C with insurance’. This all stems from the learnings in the widely read, ‘Debbie says there are 7 Ps and 1 C with insurance’. As time unfolds some more, we learn that indeed there are a lot of reasons you need to apply patience with both your dealings with your insurance company, and also all the many trades that are working feverishly to get all the jobs done.
Posted on 19 Apr
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on hitting the AC50's sound barrier
These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. The big difference between the AC72, the America's Cup Class, used in the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco and the smaller AC50 to be sailed in Bermuda, lies in their light and medium air performance. 'These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. In 7-8-9-10 knots of breeze, you are sailing at 30kts at times.
Posted on 18 Apr
America's Cup - Bernasconi on expected winning factors in Bermuda
ETNZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie Emirates Team NZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie once the six teams entered in the 35th America's Cup. 'We have had a great run', he says. 'We've had a few hiccups along the way, as always. But the boat is going really well. We are getting through manoeuvres very well. And we think our straight line speed is good.'
Posted on 18 Apr
Almost got sad…
Then realised that in fact racing was not over. It was just a change in focus, that’s all. Then realised that in fact racing was not over. It was just a change in focus, that’s all. Black Jack stormed away to grab Line Honours in the Brisbane to Gladstone, and thanks also to Nigel Statham for providing us with more info. Of course it could be the 70’ rocketship’s last outing under that name, with the 40 and now 100 to be Peter Harburg’s nautical passions.
Posted on 18 Apr