Day 10 on board the Stad Amsterdam
Anchored for the first time since we left Falmouth, I slept so soundly that when I awoke I forgot that I was on the water, until there was just the slightest movement and the voyage came back to me in a flood of memories. Redmond was in the bunk across from me snoring gently. When he asked, I told him his snoring didn’t bothered me, that actually it was comforting because I knew he was all right. Okay, so we were both more or less deaf in one ear. If any of our noises got too much for us, we could easily turn over exposing a deaf ear. We were perfect cabin mates.
Redmond started to stir as I got up and dressed. This morning we were particularly excited, as this was an unscheduled stop to pick up scientists who had sailed to Selvagem2/ Grande on a small boat several days earlier with a film crew to look for the egg of an extinct bird that was endemic to the island. The team had had a particularly rough crossing and since we were going to be sailing right by them, our captain decided to pick them up.
When Bert Boekschoten and Chaneke Meijer, both Paleontologists came on board they said that they had found the egg. They estimated it was 15 million years old. When they showed it to us, we were all amazed that it looked pretty much intact. Bert explained that it was preserved so well because it was filled with sand right after the chick came out.
I tried to look at the egg and grasp that is had been lying around for those many years. Redmond of course wanted to touch it. They would not let us. Along with the egg the team brought a few other guests as well, small lizards that hopped out of their backpacks and scurried into the crevices of the ship. Chaneke said that they were everywhere on the island and that we should catch them if we could, because the females give live births and they may get started on other islands.
My son, Sam, asked me during a conversation over the Internet a few days ago if there were any flies aboard? I thought it just the kind of question an 8-year old would ask. He said he thought there wouldn’t be any because maybe they would all get lost at sea. The answer however is that there seemed to me to be a small plague of them. They pestered us all down in the long room, and there were complaints, but now with the introduction of these lizards, maybe nature’s balance will be restored. One can only hope.
We weighed anchor later that afternoon in the lightest of winds and began the last leg to Tenerife.
Local Time: 13:00 HR
30º 08.9 N
15º 54.9 W
Wind Speed: 0-3 Knots
Wind Direction: SSE
Water Temperature: 22.2º C