Brian Thompson is that bit special, being absolutely at home on the sea


I wrote a while ago about the disappointing lack of interest in and knowledge of sea birds and sea life by sailors who otherwise pride themselves on being in tune with Nature.

One notable exception has been the philosophical and reflective Brian Thompson, who seems to know well what he sees and has itemised his sightings during the Vendée Globe for Earthwatch.

He is obviously totally at home at sea and one of the most warming things he’s written as he has boatbuilt his way round the world was this log as he sailed north off the coast of Argentina.

‘At night the heavens were thick with stars and if I took a nap, I would sleep in the cockpit to feel the movements of the boat better. One night I lay on a sailbag on deck with the binoculars and the boat was calm enough to study the galaxies of the Clouds of Magellan, and thousands of stars.’

Earthwatch has collated his complete list of sightings while racing round the world:

? Numerous storm petrels
? Black petrels (species unknown)
? 6 unidentified snow white birds (possibly egrets?)
? 1 gannet
? 2 Arctic terns
? Albatrosses
? Prions
? Shoal of garfish
? Flying fish
? Krill
? Squid

Earthwatch comments: ‘Brian is now sailing back up the Atlantic and the surrounding marine life will consist of warm water species again. Let’s hope he sees something exciting!’

Good God, I hope not. That’s the last thing Brian needs now.