Monday, 5 March 2012

“The Fog Horn”

The Fog Horn
One day many years ago a man walked along and stood in the sound of the ocean on a cold sunless shore and said, "We need a voice to call across the water, to warn ships; I'll make one. I'll make a voice like all of time and all of the fog that ever was; I'll make a voice that is like an empty bed beside you all night long, and like an empty house when you open the door, and like trees in autumn with no leaves. A sound like the birds flying south, crying, and a sound like November wind and the sea on the hard, cold shore. I'll make a sound that's so alone that no one can miss it, that whoever hears it will weep in their souls, and hearths will seem warmer, and being inside will seem better to all who hear it in the distant towns. I'll make me a sound and an apparatus and they'll call it a Fog Horn and whoever hears it will know the sadness of eternity and the briefness of life." 
Ray Bradbury 
Photographing albatross from the Observation Lounge.
Photo © Jessica Arnold.
View from the bow.
View from the stern.
During the first half of our day we were graced with the presence of avian royalty.  Wandering and Black-browed Albatross soared effortlessly about the ship as we made our way steadily west and a little north towards our goal of the Falkland Islands.  It would take two days to make this crossing.  After a couple of days of intensive landings in South Georgia these two days are a welcome respite.
View from port.
View from starboard.
 The second half of the day featured featureless seas.  We sailed in a void.  Wherever you looked the view was the same.  Port, Starboard, Bow, Stern. Up looked the same as out, but down was different.  Looking down, you could see the sea that supported us.  There was no sun to gauge direction.  For all the casual observer could tell, we might have been cruising in circles. 
But the fog made being inside Fram that much more inviting.  Now was an opportunity to review the thousands of images taken over the past two weeks.  The gym was busy all day as was the sauna.  The lecture rooms were full in the morning and in the afternoon.
As we approached the later evening hours the seas dropped further imbuing a gentle motion to the ship that would rock us to sleep.